Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology 

On Becoming Human

By: N Tanner

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Sep 1981 | #82914 | ISBN: 0521280281
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NHBS Price: £29.99 $39/€33 approx

About this book

First published in 1981, On Becoming Human presents a unique theory of human origins, an original explanation of how early hominids evolved from their ape-like primate ancestors. Professor Nancy M. Tanner's book integrates the data on chimpanzee behaviour with the available information on early phases of human evolution. The result is a model by which we can more accurately reconstruct the lifeways of the early hominids and better understand the rapid transition from ape to early human. By an innovative use of conventional data and a fresh perspective on traditional anthropological approaches, Professor Tanner, in her first book, has developed a powerful new theory of human origins by which we can understand the actual dynamics of becoming human.


List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Darwin and the descent of 'man'; 2. Models in evolution; 3. African apes and human evolution; 4. Chimpanzees as a model of the ancestral population: locomotion, tools and diet; 5. Chimpanzees as a model of the ancestral population: social organisation and interaction; 6. Chimpanzees as a model of ancestral population: mental capacities, communication and sociation - bases for the evolution of the capacity for culture; 7. The transition to Australopithecus: natural and sexual selection in human origins; 8. Evidence on the transition: what can the earliest hominid fossils reveal about the ancestral population and the transition?; 9. Gathering and the australopithecine way of life; 10. Early hominid lifeways: the critical role of an interpretive framework; 11. Conclusion: becoming human; Bibliography; Acknowledgements and bibliography for illustrations; Indexes.

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