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How Humans Evolved

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How Humans Evolved

How Humans Evolved teaches the processes that shape human evolution with a...

NHBS Price: £47.50 $58/€53 approx

By: Robert Boyd (Author), Joan B Silk (Author)

550 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations, tables

W.W. Norton & Co.

Paperback | Jan 2009 | Edition: 5 | #178422 | ISBN-13: 9780393932713
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About this book

With its unique blend of evolutionary theory, population genetics and behavioral ecology, How Humans Evolved provides students with the most contemporary and complete introduction to physical anthropology available. Robert Boyd and Joan B. Silk's modern presentation of genetics and observable behaviors in living humans and non-human primates moves beyond merely describing anthropological finds to showing students the "big picture" ideas behind human evolution.

For the Fifth Edition, Boyd and Silk have updated the text to include the best of current research in the areas of genetics, behavior and the fossil record that conveys the excitement of anthropological discovery. This new coverage reflects strengthened coverage of molecular genetics and a streamlined presentation of primatology.


Part I: How Evolution Works

1. Adaptation by Natural Selection

2. Genetics
A new introduction to the molecular genetics section emphasizing the importance of molecular data in studying human evolution.

3. The Modern Synthesis
Expanded material on genes known to affect beak morphology in Darwin's Finches and provide real examples of genes creating quantitative variation and explanations of how pleitropy causes genetic correlations.

4. Speciation and Phylogeny
New evidence for character displacement from the Grant's study on Daphne Major and new data on gene flow between species from a wide range of taxa from a recent Nature paper by Riesenberg, et al.

Part II: Primate Ecology and Behavior

5. Primate Diversity and Ecology
Important ideas from the previous edition are preserved, but with less distracting detail and more streamlined discussions of primate taxonomy, dietary specialization, territoriality and sociality. New data on evidence for predation in primates.

6. Primate Mating Systems
Expanded treatment of sources of variation in female reproductive success to include effects on female age, longevity, and quality of social bonds. Simplified discussion of sexual selection by eliminating processes not likely to be important in primates and incorporate new data on incest avoidance. New research is cited in the discussion of relationship between male rank and reproductive success.

7. Evolution of Cooperation
Changed the focus of this chapter from `social behavior' to `cooperation' for more focused analysis. Integrated parent-offspring conflict into the discussion of kin selection and add new material on cooperative breeding primates, including fascinating data on the effect of chimeric individuals in marmosets and tamarins.

8. Primate Life Histories and the Evolution of Intelligence
New evidence of a link between ecology, life history, and brain size in orangutans and additional examples of primates `knowledge of others' minds.

Part III: The History of the Human Lineage

9. From Tree Shrew to Ape

10. From Hominoid to Hominin
A chronological account of hominin species (rather than in the order in which they were discovered) and new information about A. kadabba.

11. Oldowan Toolmakers and the Origin of Human Life History

12. From Hominin to Homo
New information about diversity in size, morphology and life-styles of H. ergaster in Africa and Europe, including a new description of H. ergaster from Ileret. New take on evidence for use of fire and cooking and on postcranial material from Dmanisi.

13. Homo sapiens and the Evolution of Modern Human Behavior
A new discussion of genetic differences between humans and other primates based on new evidence from sequencing of both genomes. Completely revised and updated section on genetic evidence for a recent African expansion, including information from autosomal genes and geographic patterns of genetic diversity.

Part IV: Evolution and Modern Humans

14. Human Genetic Variation
Updated discussion of FOXP2 and the evolution of lactose tolerance, including information on independent evolution of lactose in East Africa. New evidence about selection and genetic diversity drawn from genome sequence data including a detailed explanation of how selection is detected from patterns of linkage disequilibrium.

Chapter 15: Evolution and Human Behavior

Chapter 16: Human Mate Choice and Parenting

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Robert Boyd has written widely on evolutionary theory, focusing especially on the evolution of cooperation and role of culture in human evolution. His book Culture and the Evolutionary Process received the J. I. Staley Prize. He has also published numerous articles in scientific journals and has edited volumes. He is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles and on the faculty of the Santa Fe Institute.

Joan B. Silk has conducted extensive research on the social lives of monkeys and apes, including extended fieldwork on chimpanzees at Gombe Stream Reserve in Tanzania, and baboons in Kenya and Botswana. She is also interested in the application of evolutionary thinking to human behavior. She has published numerous articles in scientific journals and scholarly edited volumes, and is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles

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