Search Results for "almost-human-the-astonishing-tale-of-homo-naledi-and-the-discovery-that-changed-our-human-story"

Almost Human

Almost Human

The Astonishing Tale of Homo Naledi and the Discovery that Changed Our Human Story

  • Author: Lee R. Berger,John David Hawks
  • Publisher: National Geographic Books
  • ISBN: 1426218117
  • Category: HISTORY
  • Page: 239
  • View: 3010
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"In 2013, Lee Berger ... caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave in South Africa. He put out a call around the world for petite collaborators--men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of 'underground astronauts,' Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known prehominids like Lucy, the famous Australopithecus, with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains"

Almost Human

Almost Human

  • Author: Lee Berger,John Hawks
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • ISBN: 1426218125
  • Category: Travel
  • Page: 256
  • View: 8748
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It was the find of a lifetime: The bones of multiple individuals, hidden deep underground in the region of South Africa called the Cradle of Humankind. Only the slimmest expedition members could squeeze through the jagged rock channels to reach the cave and its amazing treasures. In this freewheeling tale of science and exploration, celebrated paleoanthropologists Lee Berger and John Hawks tell the story of how Berger and his team discovered rich caches of fossils representing all-new species on the human family tree. How old are these bones? How did they get so deep underground? What do they tell us about our earliest ancestors? Berger's answers transform our sense of who we are and how we got here.

Almost Human

Almost Human

The Astonishing Tale of Homo Naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story

  • Author: Lee Berger,John Hawks
  • Publisher: National Geographic Books
  • ISBN: 1426218125
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 256
  • View: 308
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This first-person narrative about an archaeological discovery is rewriting the story of human evolution. A story of defiance and determination by a controversial scientist, this is Lee Berger's own take on finding Homo naledi, an all-new species on the human family tree and one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century. In 2013, Berger, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave in South Africa. He put out a call around the world for petite collaborators—men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of "underground astronauts," Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known prehominids like Lucy, the famousAustralopithecus, with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species, and they called it Homo naledi. The cave quickly proved to be the richest prehominid site ever discovered, full of implications that shake the very foundation of how we define what makes us human. Did this species come before, during, or after the emergence of Homo sapiens on our evolutionary tree? How did the cave come to contain nothing but the remains of these individuals? Did they bury their dead? If so, they must have had a level of self-knowledge, including an awareness of death. And yet those are the very characteristics used to define what makes us human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us? Berger does not hesitate to address all these questions. Berger is a charming and controversial figure, and some colleagues question his interpretation of this and other finds. But in these pages, this charismatic and visionary paleontologist counters their arguments and tells his personal story: a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human.

Masters of the Planet

Masters of the Planet

The Search for Our Human Origins

  • Author: Ian Tattersall
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • ISBN: 023010875X
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 266
  • View: 1303
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An award-winning Museum of Natural History curator and author of Becoming Human traces the evolution of homo sapiens to demonstrate how they prevailed among other early humans because of their unique cognitive ability, in an account that also explains how their superior mental abilities were acquired. 40,000 first printing.

Human Evolution

Human Evolution

Trails from the Past

  • Author: Camilo J. Cela-Conde,Francisco J. Ayala
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0198567804
  • Category: Nature
  • Page: 437
  • View: 5662
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This book is intended as a comprehensive overview of hominid evolution, synthesising data and approaches from physical anthropology, genetics, archaeology, psychology and philosophy. Human evolution courses are now widespread and this book has the potential to satisfy the requirements of most, particularly at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level. It is based on a translation, albeit with substantial modification, of a successful Spanish language book.

Lone Survivors

Lone Survivors

How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth

  • Author: Chris Stringer
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • ISBN: 1429973447
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 336
  • View: 2722
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A leading researcher on human evolution proposes a new and controversial theory of how our species came to be In this groundbreaking and engaging work of science, world-renowned paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer sets out a new theory of humanity's origin, challenging both the multiregionalists (who hold that modern humans developed from ancient ancestors in different parts of the world) and his own "out of Africa" theory, which maintains that humans emerged rapidly in one small part of Africa and then spread to replace all other humans within and outside the continent. Stringer's new theory, based on archeological and genetic evidence, holds that distinct humans coexisted and competed across the African continent—exchanging genes, tools, and behavioral strategies. Stringer draws on analyses of old and new fossils from around the world, DNA studies of Neanderthals (using the full genome map) and other species, and recent archeological digs to unveil his new theory. He shows how the most sensational recent fossil findings fit with his model, and he questions previous concepts (including his own) of modernity and how it evolved. Lone Survivors will be the definitive account of who and what we were, and will change perceptions about our origins and about what it means to be human.

A Dog in the Cave

A Dog in the Cave

The Wolves Who Made Us Human

  • Author: Kay Frydenborg
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • ISBN: 1328694909
  • Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
  • Page: 256
  • View: 7623
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We know dogs are our best animal friends, but have you ever thought about what that might mean? Fossils show we’ve shared our work and homes with dogs for tens of thousands of years. Now there’s growing evidence that we influenced dogs’ evolution—and they, in turn, changed ours. Even more than our closest relatives, the apes, dogs are the species with whom we communicate best. Combining history, paleontology, biology, and cutting-edge medical science, Kay Frydenborg paints a picture of how two different species became deeply entwined—and how we coevolved into the species we are today.

The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack

The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack

and Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution

  • Author: Ian Tattersall
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN: 1466879432
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 256
  • View: 3760
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In his new book The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack, human paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall argues that a long tradition of "human exceptionalism" in paleoanthropology has distorted the picture of human evolution. Drawing partly on his own career—from young scientist in awe of his elders to crotchety elder statesman—Tattersall offers an idiosyncratic look at the competitive world of paleoanthropology, beginning with Charles Darwin 150 years ago, and continuing through the Leakey dynasty in Africa, and concluding with the latest astonishing findings in the Caucasus. The book's title refers to the 1856 discovery of a clearly very old skull cap in Germany's Neander Valley. The possessor had a brain as large as a modern human, but a heavy low braincase with a prominent brow ridge. Scientists tried hard to explain away the inconvenient possibility that this was not actually our direct relative. One extreme interpretation suggested that the preserved leg bones were curved by both rickets, and by a life on horseback. The pain of the unfortunate individual's affliction had caused him to chronically furrow his brow in agony, leading to the excessive development of bone above the eye sockets. The subsequent history of human evolutionary studies is full of similarly fanciful interpretations. With tact and humor, Tattersall concludes that we are not the perfected products of natural processes, but instead the result of substantial doses of random happenstance.

The First Human

The First Human

The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

  • Author: Ann Gibbons
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN: 140007696X
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 303
  • View: 7634
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An account of the search for the missing link between humans and apes journeys into the competitive world of fossil hunting and the lives of competing scientists determined to uncover the mysteries of human evolution.

Evolution's Bite

Evolution's Bite

A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins

  • Author: Peter S. Ungar
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 1400884756
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 248
  • View: 569
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What teeth can teach us about the evolution of the human species Whether we realize it or not, we carry in our mouths the legacy of our evolution. Our teeth are like living fossils that can be studied and compared to those of our ancestors to teach us how we became human. In Evolution's Bite, noted paleoanthropologist Peter Ungar brings together for the first time cutting-edge advances in understanding human evolution and climate change with new approaches to uncovering dietary clues from fossil teeth to present a remarkable investigation into the ways that teeth—their shape, chemistry, and wear—reveal how we came to be. Ungar describes how a tooth's "foodprints"—distinctive patterns of microscopic wear and tear—provide telltale details about what an animal actually ate in the past. These clues, combined with groundbreaking research in paleoclimatology, demonstrate how a changing climate altered the food options available to our ancestors, what Ungar calls the biospheric buffet. When diets change, species change, and Ungar traces how diet and an unpredictable climate determined who among our ancestors was winnowed out and who survived, as well as why we transitioned from the role of forager to farmer. By sifting through the evidence—and the scars on our teeth—Ungar makes the important case for what might or might not be the most natural diet for humans. Traveling the four corners of the globe and combining scientific breakthroughs with vivid narrative, Evolution's Bite presents a unique dental perspective on our astonishing human development.

Neanderthal Man

Neanderthal Man

In Search of Lost Genomes

  • Author: Svante PŠŠbo
  • Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
  • ISBN: 0465020836
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 288
  • View: 1622
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An influential geneticist traces his investigation into the genes of humanity's closest evolutionary relatives, explaining what his sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has revealed about their extinction and the origins of modern humans.

Seven Skeletons

Seven Skeletons

The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils

  • Author: Lydia Pyne
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • ISBN: 0698409426
  • Category: History
  • Page: 336
  • View: 9514
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An irresistible journey of discovery, science, history, and myth making, told through the lives and afterlives of seven famous human ancestors Over the last century, the search for human ancestors has spanned four continents and resulted in the discovery of hundreds of fossils. While most of these discoveries live quietly in museum collections, there are a few that have become world-renowned celebrity personas—ambassadors of science that speak to public audiences. In Seven Skeletons, historian of science Lydia Pyne explores how seven such famous fossils of our ancestors have the social cachet they enjoy today. Drawing from archives, museums, and interviews, Pyne builds a cultural history for each celebrity fossil—from its discovery to its afterlife in museum exhibits to its legacy in popular culture. These seven include the three-foot tall “hobbit” from Flores, the Neanderthal of La Chapelle, the Taung Child, the Piltdown Man hoax, Peking Man, Australopithecus sediba, and Lucy—each embraced and celebrated by generations, and vivid examples of how discoveries of how our ancestors have been received, remembered, and immortalized. With wit and insight, Pyne brings to life each fossil, and how it is described, put on display, and shared among scientific communities and the broader public. This fascinating, endlessly entertaining book puts the impact of paleoanthropology into new context, a reminder of how our past as a species continues to affect, in astounding ways, our present culture and imagination. From the Hardcover edition.

Unlocking the Past

Unlocking the Past

How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History With Ancient DNA

  • Author: Martin Jones
  • Publisher: Arcade Pub
  • ISBN: 9781628724479
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 348
  • View: 9908
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In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, a leading expert at the forefront of bioarchaeology--the discipline that gave Michael Crichton the premise for Jurassic Park--explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life--DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock--have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past. Devising a molecular clock from a certain area of DNA, scientists were able to determine that all humans descend from one common female ancestor, dubbed "The Mitochondrial Eve," who lived around 150,000 years ago. From molecules recovered through grinding stones and potsherds, they reconstructed ancient diets and posited when such practices as dairying and boiling water for cooking began. They have reconstituted the beer left in the burial chamber of pharaohs and know what the Iceman, the five-thousand-year-old hunter found in the Alps in the early nineties, ate before his last journey. Conveying both the excitement of innovative research and the sometimes bruising rough-and-tumble of scientific debate, Jones has written a work of profound importance. Unlocking the Past is science at its most engaging.

The Origin of Our Species

The Origin of Our Species

  • Author: Chris Stringer
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 1846141400
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 333
  • View: 7332
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In this ground-breaking book Chris Stringer sets out to answer all the big questions in the debate about our origins. How can we define modern humans, and how can we recognise our beginnings in the fossil and archaeological record? How can we accurately date fossils, including ones beyond the range of radiocarbon dating? What does the genetic data really tell us? Were our origins solely in Africa? Are modern humans a distinct species from ancient people such as the Neanderthals? And what contact did our ancestors have with them? How can we recognise modern humans behaviourally, and were traits such as complex language and art unique to modern humans? What forces shaped the origins of modern humans - were they climatic, dietary, social, or even volcanic? What drove the dispersals of modern humans from Africa, and how did our species spread over the globe? How did regional features evolve, and how significant are they? What exactly was the 'Hobbit' of the island of Flores, and how was it related to us? Has human evolution stopped, or are we still evolving? What can we expect from future research on our origins? This book will make every reader think about what it means to be human.

The Invaders

The Invaders

  • Author: Pat Shipman
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • ISBN: 0674736761
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 266
  • View: 9474
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Humans domesticated dogs soon after Neanderthals began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, Pat Shipman hypothesizes, made possible unprecedented success in hunting large Ice Age mammals—a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for human invaders at a time when climate change made both humans and Neanderthals vulnerable.

The Neanderthals Rediscovered

The Neanderthals Rediscovered

How Modern Science Is Rewriting Their Story

  • Author: Dimitra Papagianni,Michael A. Morse
  • Publisher: N.A
  • ISBN: 9780500292044
  • Category: History
  • Page: 208
  • View: 8190
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Presents new information on the evolution and behavior of prehistoric man, describing behavior that is more modern than what has been traditionally attributed to them, including burying their dead, taking care of the sick, hunting and fishing.

Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language

Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language

  • Author: Robin Dunbar
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • ISBN: 9780674363366
  • Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Page: 230
  • View: 7306
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What a big brain we have for all the small talk we make. It's an evolutionary riddle that at long last makes sense in this intriguing book about what gossip has done for our talkative species. Psychologist Robin Dunbar looks at gossip as an instrument of social order and cohesion--much like the endless grooming with which our primate cousins tend to their social relationships. Apes and monkeys, humanity's closest kin, differ from other animals in the intensity of these relationships. All their grooming is not so much about hygiene as it is about cementing bonds, making friends, and influencing fellow primates. But for early humans, grooming as a way to social success posed a problem: given their large social groups of 150 or so, our earliest ancestors would have had to spend almost half their time grooming one another--an impossible burden. What Dunbar suggests--and his research, whether in the realm of primatology or in that of gossip, confirms--is that humans developed language to serve the same purpose, but far more efficiently. It seems there is nothing idle about chatter, which holds together a diverse, dynamic group--whether of hunter-gatherers, soldiers, or workmates. Anthropologists have long assumed that language developed in relationships among males during activities such as hunting. Dunbar's original and extremely interesting studies suggest otherwise: that language in fact evolved in response to our need to keep up to date with friends and family. We needed conversation to stay in touch, and we still need it in ways that will not be satisfied by teleconferencing, email, or any other communication technology. As Dunbar shows, the impersonal world of cyberspace will not fulfill our primordial need for face-to-face contact. From the nit-picking of chimpanzees to our chats at coffee break, from neuroscience to paleoanthropology, Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language offers a provocative view of what makes us human, what holds us together, and what sets us apart.

Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior

Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior

  • Author: Peter B. Gray
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • ISBN: 0674074394
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 376
  • View: 2899
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A comprehensive survey of the evolutionary science of human sexual behavior, Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior invites us to imagine human sex from the vantage point of our primate cousins, in order to underscore the role of evolution in shaping all that happens, biologically and behaviorally, when romantic passions are aroused.

Deep Life

Deep Life

The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars, and Beyond

  • Author: Tullis C. Onstott
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 1400884241
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 512
  • View: 1761
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Deep Life takes readers to uncharted regions deep beneath Earth's crust in search of life in extreme environments and reveals how astonishing new discoveries by geomicrobiologists are helping the quest to find life in the solar system. Tullis Onstott, named one of the 100 most influential people in America by Time magazine, provides an insider’s look at the pioneering fieldwork that is shining vital new light on Earth’s hidden biology—a thriving subterranean biosphere that scientists once thought to be impossible. Come along on epic descents two miles underground into South African gold mines to experience the challenges that Onstott and his team had to overcome. Join them in their search for microbes in the ancient seabed below the desert floor in the American Southwest, and travel deep beneath the frozen wastelands of the Arctic tundra to discover life as it could exist on Mars. Blending cutting-edge science with thrilling scientific adventure, Deep Life features rare and unusual encounters with exotic life forms, including a bacterium living off radiation and a hermaphroditic troglodytic worm that has changed our understanding of how complex subsurface life can really be. This unforgettable book takes you to the absolute limits of life—the biotic fringe—where today’s scientists hope to discover the very origins of life itself.

Dreaming in Hindi

Dreaming in Hindi

Coming Awake in Another Language

  • Author: Katherine Russell Rich
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • ISBN: 9780547394305
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography
  • Page: 384
  • View: 9782
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An eye-opening and courageous memoir that explores what learning a new language can teach us about distant worlds and, ultimately, ourselves. After miraculously surviving a serious illness, Katherine Rich found herself at an impasse in her career as a magazine editor. She spontaneously accepted a freelance writing assignment to go to India, where she found herself thunderstruck by the place and the language, and before she knew it she was on her way to Udaipur, a city in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, in order to learn Hindi. Rich documents her experiences—ranging from the bizarre to the frightening to the unexpectedly exhilarating—using Hindi as the lens through which she is given a new perspective not only on India, but on the radical way the country and the language itself were changing her. Fascinated by the process, she went on to interview linguistics experts around the world, reporting back from the frontlines of the science wars on what happens in the brain when we learn a new language. She brings both of these experiences together seamlessly in Dreaming in Hindi, a remarkably unique and thoughtful account of self-discovery.