It is generally agreed that the human lineage can be traced back to this group of comparatively small-brained, large-toothed creatures. This volume focuses on the evolutionary history of these early hominids with state-of-the-art contributions by leading international authorities in the field. Although a case can be made for a "robust" lineage, the functional and taxonomic implications of the morphological features are subject to vigorous disagreement. An area of lively debate is the possible causal relationship between the presence of early Homo and the origin, evolution, and virtual extinction of "robust" australopithecines.
This volume summarizes what has been learned about the evolutionary history of the "robust" australopithecines in the 50 years since Robert Broom first encountered the visage of a new kind of ape-man from Kromdraai. New discoveries from Kromdraai to Lomekwi have served to keep us aware that the paleontological record for hominid evolution is hardly exhausted. Because of such finds no single volume can hope to stand as a summary on the "robust" australopithecines for very long, but this classic volume comes close to achieving this goal. The book sheds new light upon some old questions and also acts to provide new questions. The answers to those questions bring us closer to a fuller understanding and appreciation of the origins, evolution, and ultimate demise of the "robust" australopithecines.
Since the "robust" australopithecines most likely stand as our closest relatives, a better understanding of their origin, history, and demise serves to provide heightened appreciation of the course of human evolution itself. This definitive volume addresses the questions and problems surrounding this important lineage.
Frederick E. Grine is professor and chairperson in the department of anthropology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has published many scientific articles in books and international journals, and he is co-editor of Primate Phylogeny and Scanning Microscopy of Vertebrate Mineralized Tissues and author of Regional Human Anatomy.
In this book, which is the first full discussion of sexual selection since 1871, leading biologists bring modern genetic theory and behavior observation to bear on the subject. The distinguished authors consider many aspects of sexual selection in many species, including man, within the context of contemporary evolutionary theory and research. The result is a remarkably original and well-rounded view of the whole concept that will be invaluable especially to students of evolution and human sexual behavior. The lucid authority of the contributors and the importance of the topic will interest all who share in man's perennial fascination with his own history.
The book will be of central importance to a wide variety of professionals, including biologists, anthropologists, and geneticists. It will be an invaluable supplementary text for courses in vertebrate biology, theory of evolution, genetics, and physical anthropology. It is especially important with the emergence of alternative explanations of human development, under the rubric of creationism and doctrines of intelligent design.
Bernard G. Campbell is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Born in Weybridge, England, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1957, and has been a lecturer in anthropology at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. Among his many contributions to the field of anthropology is Human Evolution: An Introduction to Man's Adaptations.
Hominins began using stone tools at least 2.6 million years ago, perhaps even 3.4 million years ago. Given the nearly ubiquitous use of stone tools by humans and their ancestors, the study of lithic technology offers an important line of inquiry into questions of evolution and behavior. This book examines convergence in stone tool-making, cases in which functional or developmental constraints result in similar forms in independent lineages. Identifying examples of convergence, and distinguishing convergence from divergence, refutes hypotheses that suggest physical or cultural connection between far-flung prehistoric toolmakers. Employing phylogenetic analysis and stone-tool replication, the contributors show that similarity of tools can be caused by such common constraints as the fracture properties of stone or adaptive challenges rather than such unlikely phenomena as migration of toolmakers over an Arctic ice shelf.
R. Alexander Bentley, Briggs Buchanan, Marcelo Cardillo, Mathieu Charbonneau, Judith Charlin, Chris Clarkson, Loren G. Davis, Metin I. Eren, Peter Hiscock, Thomas A. Jennings, Steven L. Kuhn, Daniel E. Lieberman, George R. McGhee, Alex Mackay, Michael J. O'Brien, Charlotte D. Pevny, Ceri Shipton, Ashley M. Smallwood, Heather Smith, Jayne Wilkins, Samuel C. Willis, Nicolas Zayns
What can fossilized teeth tell us about our ancient ancestors’ life expectancy? Did farming play a problematic role in the history of human evolution? And what do we have in common with Neanderthals? In this captivating bestseller, Close Encounters with Humankind, paleoanthropologist Sang-Hee Lee explores our greatest evolutionary questions from new and unexpected angles. Through a series of entertaining, bite-sized chapters that combine anthropological insight with cutting-edge science, we gain fresh perspectives into our first hominin ancestors and ways to challenge perceptions about the traditional progression of evolution. With Lee as our guide, we discover that we indeed have always been a species of continuous change.
By drawing out the key features of the extant families and referring to more detailed texts, the author sets the scene and also creates space for a thorough updating of the exciting developments in primate palaeontology – and the reconstruction through early hominid species – of our own human origins. This updated version covers recent developments in primate paleontology and the latest taxonomy, and includes over 200 new illustrations and revised evolutionary trees.
This text is ideal for undergraduate and post-graduate students studying the evolution and functional ecology of primates and early fossil hominids.Long-awaited revision of the standard student text on primate evolutionFull coverage of newly discovered fossils and the latest taxonomyOver 200 new illustrations and revised evolutionary trees