Synopses & Reviews
Is modern man the logical conclusion of a long evolutionary journey? Or are humans merely an evolutionary accident? The Chosen Species
answers these and many other questions about our origins.
Authors Juan Luis Arsuaga and Ignacio Martínez are world-renowned paleoanthropologists and co-directors of the excavations at Atapuerca---a World Heritage Site and Europe’s oldest known burial site---where their team discovered a new human species, homo antecessor. Their work has changed the way we see human evolution. Here, the authors draw on their rich experience to provide a fascinating account of our origins. They reconstruct the sequence of events, give an account of how, when, and why man evolved, and draw conclusions based on verifiable facts and well-founded argument. The Chosen Species combines scientific rigor with a spellbinding style that will grip readers as they follow the tale to its end.
This engaging book tells the story of human evolution, asking if man is indeed the “chosen species” or merely an evolutionary accident.
- Written by world-renowned paleoanthropologists who are co-directors of the excavations at Atapuerca---a World Heritage Site and Europe’s oldest known burial site---where a new human species, homo antecessor, was discovered
- Discusses various hypotheses of human evolution, drawing conclusions from verifiable facts and well-founded argument
- Offers a compelling narrative written for nonspecialists and students of human evolution
- Includes over 60 illustrations
- Sold over 100,000 copies in the original Spanish-language edition
This engaging book tells the story of human evolution, asking if man is indeed the chosen species or merely an evolutionary accident.
About the Author
“This book by the researchers who helped to unearth the extraordinary and important collection of human fossils from Atapuerca is an excellent introduction to human ancestry. Read it and you will experience at first hand the fascination of the human fossil hunter.” Bernard Wood, George Washington University
“A fine book that tells the tale of human origins in an engaging and authoritative manner.” Roger Lewin, Associate of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, and prize-winning author of Bones of Contention
The following are translations of Spanish-language reviews of the Spanish edition of the book:
"Essential reading. … This book fills a crucial gap in the body of scientific literature written for the general public." --- La esfera de los libros
"Far more than a timely presentation of the magnitude, significance, and contents of the famed Atapuerca site, this book is also an enlightening account of the origins of human life, including the basic principles of evolutionary theory. " --- El Pais
"An excellent text…. By drawing on both biology and paleontology, Arsuaga and Martínez bring their subject to life for their readers." --- El Pais
"Here is a book that should be of perennial interest to the educated reader, the humanist, who cannot get enough of research and writing on the subject of his own origins." --- ABC literario
Table of Contents
Part I: Children of Africa.
1. Basic Principles of Evolutionary Theory.
2. We the Primates.
3. Climate and Evolution.
4. The Origin of Humanity.
5. The Bipedal Chimpanzee.
6. Paranthropus - Hominids of the Open Plains.
7. A New Kind of Hominid.
8. The Evolution of the Brain.
9. Teeth, Guts, Hands, Brain.
11. Social Intelligence.
Part II: A New Home.
12. New Locations for Human Evolution.
13. The Neanderthals.
14. The Origins of Modern Humanity: the Fossil Evidence.
15. The Origins of Modern Humanity: The Genetic.
16. The Origins of Human Language.
17. The Meaning of Evolution.
The Never-ending Story.