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Elwyn Simons: A Search for Origins

Series: Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects

Edited By: John G Fleagle and Christopher C Gilbert

460 pages, Figs, tabs


Hardback | Jan 2008 | #171228 | ISBN-13: 9780387738956
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £199.99 $255/€223 approx

About this book

For nearly a half century, Dr. Elwyn Simons has dominated the study of primate evolution. This volume summarizes the current state of knowledge in many aspects of primate and human evolution that have been studied by Simons and his colleagues and places it in a broader paleontological and historical perspective.

A Search for Origins contains the results of new research and reviews of many of the critical issues in primate and human paleontology during the last half of the twentieth century as well as other aspects of African paleontology, geology, and primate conservation.

The chapters include a wide range of important new works that are valuable contributions to the field of physical anthropology and are certain to be widely cited and used in teaching. The authors of this text are an extremely distinguished group of international authorities on all aspects of primate evolution, human evolution, and primate behavior.

From the reviews: "This volume, edited by Fleagle and Gilbert ... includes 26 chapters of varying length. ... A full bibliography of Simons' astounding 315 publications ... closes the volume. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers and faculty." (E. Delson, Choice, Vol. 46 (3), November, 2008) "A Search for Human Origins is of interest to all primatologists, whether they study living or extinct species. ! A Search for Human Origins deals with paleontological collecting in different parts of the world, principally in Egypt, but also in Libya, Tanzania, India, China, and North America. ! a testament to the enduring influence of Elwyn Simons on vertebrate paleontology, primate evolution, and prosimian biology and conservation." (Susan Cachel, International Journal Primatology, Vol. 29, 2008) "Elwyn Simons: A Search for Origins, edited by John Fleagle and Chris Gilbert, succeeds primarily because no real attempt at blanket coverage of Elwyn's career is made. Instead, it is a delightfully idiosyncratic sampling of personal history, fossil discovery, and comparative study. ! This book includes coverage of subfossil lemurs and the current status of Malagasy ecosystems, current finds in North Africa, India, and Asia and even a chapter on hominid behavioral ecology, all of which reflect the interests and passions of Elwyn Simons." (Christopher P. Heesy, Evolutionary Anthropology, Vol. 18, 2009)


The Life and career of Elwyn Simons.- Elwyn Simons and the Synthesis of Two Intellectual Traditions.- Five decades of Research in Egypt.- Ear regions of Aegyptopithecus and Parapithecus: Implications for Platyrrhine Origins.- Fossil Plants and Vegetation of the Fayum.- Geology, Paleoenvironment, and Age of the Oldest Primate-bearing Fossil C. Clyde, and Mark Mathison Locality in the Fayum Depression.- Early Evolution of Whales: Results of A Century of Research in Egypt.- Paleogene Mammals from Sub-Saharan Africa:A View from the eastern Rift.- Searching for New African Frontiers.- Revisiting the Postcranial Evidence for Amphipithecid Anthropoid Affinities.- The Simons Legacy: Two Decades of Lemur Conservation in Madagascar.- Vicariance or Dispersal in the Origin of Madagascar's Mammals.- The Secrets of Lemur Teeth.- Grasping the Past: The Hands and Feet of Giant Lemurs.- Aging Lemurs: Older and Better.- Hominid Origins over Four Decades.- The Behavior and Ecology of our Earliest Hominid Ancestors.- LeGros Clark and the Study of Human Evolution.- Human Evolution and the Challenge of Creationism.

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Elwyn Simons has held professional appointments at Yale University (1960-1977), Duke University (1977-present), and was the Director of the Duke Primate Center (1977-1991) and Scientific Director (1991-2001). He has authored nearly 300 scientific publications and is the holder of many high honors. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, as well as many other professional associations. He was elected a "Knight of the National Order" by the government of Madagascar and has been the recipient of many awards including the prestigious Charles R. Darwin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

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