Primate and Human Evolution provides a synthesis of the evolution and adaptive significance of human anatomical, physiological and behavioural traits. Using palaeontology and modern human variation and biology, it compares hominid traits to those of other catarrhine primates both living and extinct, presenting a new hominization model that does not depend solely on global climate change, but on predictable trends observed in catarrhines. Dealing with the origins of hominid tool use and tool manufacture, it compares tool behaviour in other animals and incorporates information from the earliest archaeological record. Examining the use of non-human primates and other mammals in modelling the origins of early human social behaviour, Susan Cachel argues that human intelligence does not arise from complex social interactions, but from attentiveness to the natural world. Primate and Human Evolution will be a rich source of inspiration for all those interested in the evolution of all primates, including ourselves.
2. A brief history of primatology and human evolution
3. The catarrhine fossil record
4. Primate speciation and exstinction
5. Anatomical primatology
6. Captive studies of non-human primates
7. What can non-human primate anatomy, physiology, and development reveal about human evolution?
8. Natural history intelligence and human evolution
9. Why be social? - the advantages and disadvantages of social life
10. Evolution and behaviour
11. The implications of body size for evolutionary ecology
12. The nature of the fossil record
13. The bipedal breakthrough
14. The hominid radiation
15. Modelling human evolution
16. Archaeological evidence and models of human evolution
17. What does evolutionary anthropology reveal about human evolution?
18. Final thoughts on primate and human evolution
Susan Cachel is Associate Professor of Physical Anthropology at Rutgers University. She is a member of the Rutgers Center for Human Evolutionary Studies, and is an instructor and researcher at the Koobi Fora Field School in Kenya.
"The range and breadth of topics covered in this lengthy book are undeniably impressive, and Cachel certainly dares to be different. There are forays into artificial intelligence, speciation, primates as models (and non-models), neuroanatomy, the origins of sociality, the evolutionary implications of body size, the possible impact of diet on sexual dimorphism, taphonomy, bipedalism, Hox genes, tool use, technology, [...] the list goes on. And all interspersed with condensed histories of primatology and palaeoanthropology. [...] wide-ranging and thought-provoking [...]"
"Primate and Human Evolution contains great food for thought, but great thought is only the first and easiest step toward great science. As many of our eager undergraduate majors enter anthropology as unintentional chimpocentrics because of their exposure to primatology in media and popular culture, Primate and Human Evolution will help students take that first step."
– International Journal of Primatology
"[...] a provocative, refreshingly nonconfrontational, structured set of musings on hominin evolution [...]"
– American Journal of Physical Anthropology