9781137278302

Masters of the Planet The Search for Our Human Origins

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781137278302

  • ISBN10:

    1137278307

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/28/2013
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
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Summary

Fifty thousand years agomerely a blip in evolutionary timeour Homo sapiensancestors were competing for existence with several other human species, just as their precursors had done for millions of years. Yet something about our species distinguished it from the pack, and ultimately led to its survival while the rest became extinct. Just what was it that allowed Homo sapiensto become masters of the planet? Ian Tattersall, curator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, takes us deep into the fossil record to uncover what made humans so special. Surveying a vast field from initial bipedality to language and intelligence, Tattersall argues that Homo sapiensacquired a winning combination of traits that was not the result of long-term evolutionary refinement. Instead, the final result emerged quickly, shocking our world and changing it forever.

Author Biography

Ian Tattersall, PhD, is a curator in the Division of Anthropology of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where he co-curates the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. He is the acknowledged leader of the human fossil record, and has won several awards, including the Institute of Human Origins Lifetime Achievement Award. Tattersall has appeared on Charlie Rose and NPR's Science Friday, and has written for Scientific American and Archaeology. He's been widely cited by the media, including The New York Times, BBC, MSNBC, and National Geographic. Tattersall is the author of Becoming Human, among others. He lives in New York City.

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