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Extinct Humansby Ian Tattersall
Synopses & Reviews
Scientists have long envisioned the human family tree” as a straight-line progression from the apelike australopithecines to the enigmatic Homo habilis to the famous Neanderthals, culminating in us, Homo sapiens. But this model is unlike the evolutionary patterns known for all other vertebrates—patterns that typically reveal multiple branchings and extinctions. In Extinct Humans, Ian Tattersall and Jeffrey Schwartz present convincing evidence that many distinct species of humans have existed during the history of the hominid family, often simultaneously. Furthermore, these species may have contributed to one anothers extinction. Who were these different human species? Which are direct ancestors to us? And, the most profound question of all, why is there only a single human species alive on Earth now?
Book News Annotation:
Paleoanthropologists, say Tattersall (anthropology, American Museum of Natural History and Columbia U.) and Schwartz (physical anthropology, U. of Pittsburgh and American Museum of Natural History), are all too quick to rewrite the rules of evolutionary process where there own species is concerned. They show that human evolution has been the usual repeated experimentation, diversification, and ultimately, extinction.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An assessment of the many species of humans - all but one of them now extinct that have existed during the six-million-year-history of the hominid family
About the Author
Ian Tattersall is Chairman and Curator of the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor of anthropology at Columbia University. His books include The Fossil Train, The Human Odyssey, Becoming Human, and The Myths of Human Evolution (with Niles Eldredge). Jeffrey Schwartz is professor of physical anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of The Red Ape, What Bones Tell Us, and Skeleton Keys.
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History and Social Science » Anthropology » General