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The First Humans: Origin and Early Evolution of the Genus Homo

Series: Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series

Edited By: Frederick E Grine, John G Fleagle and Richard E Leakey

232 pages, illus


Hardback | May 2009 | #181580 | ISBN-13: 9781402099793
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £85.50 $112/€97 approx

About this book

This volume addresses the origin of the human genus Homo, a major transition in human evolution and associated with major changes in brain size, locomotion, and culture, but one with many unanswered questions. How many different species of Homo were there, and how were they interrelated? Are stone tools a characteristic of early Homo? What was their function? How does the use of stone tools relate to changes in the dentition and brain size? Did adaptations for long distance running first appear with the origin of this genus? How does this relate to its diet and cultural abilities?

From the reviews: "This volume provides an up-to-date, concise synthesis of what is known about early Homo and highlights what still remains to be done." Journal of Human Evolution, 2009


Part I. Retrospectives and Theoretical Perspectives 1. Early humans: of whom do we speak? Richard E. Leakey 2. Homo habilis - a premature discovery: remembered by one of its founding fathers, 42 years later Phillip V. Tobia 3. Where does the genus Homo begin, and how would we know? Bernard Wood Part II. Craniodental Perspectives on Taxonomy and Systematics 4. The origin of Homo William H. Kimbel 5. Comparisons of Early Pleistocene skulls from East Africa and the Georgian Caucasus: evidence bearing on the origin and systematics of genus Homo G. Philip Rightmire and David Lordkipanidze 6. Phenetic affinities of Plio-Pleistocene Homo fossils from South Africa: molar cusp proportions Frederick E. Grine, Heather F. Smith, Christopher P. Heesy and Emma J. Smith Part III. Postcranial Perspectives on Locomotion and Adaptation 7. Evolution of the hominin shoulder: early Homo Susan G. Larson 8. Brains, brawn, and the evolution of human endurance running capabilities Daniel E. Lieberman, Dennis M. Bramble, David A. Raichlen and John J. Shea 9. Interlimb proportions in humans and fossil hominins: variability and scaling William L. Jungers Part IV. Perspectives on Development, Diet and Behavior 10. Growth and development of the Nariokotome youth, KNM-WT 15000 M. Christopher Dean and B. Holly Smith 11. Dental evidence for diets of early Homo Peter S. Ungar and Robert S. Scott 12. Origins and adaptations of early Homo: what archaeology tells us Helene Roche, Robert J. Blumenschine and John J. Shea Part V. Environmental and Ecological Perspectives 13. Plio-Pleistocene East African pulsed climate variability and its influence on early human evolution. Mark A. Maslin and Martin H. Trauth 14. Tracking ecological change in relation to the emergence of Homo near the Plio-Pleistocene boundary. Kaye E. Reed and Samantha M. Russak 15. Ecology of Plio-Pleistocene mammals in the Omo-Turkana Basin and the emergence of Homo. Rene Bobe and Meave G. Leakey 16. Biogeochemical evidence for the environments of early Homo in South Africa Matt Sponheimer and Julia Lee-Thorp Part VI. Summary Perspective on the Workshop 17. The first humans: a summary perspective on the origin and early evolution of the genus Homo. Frederick E. Grine and John G. Fleagle

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Frederick E. Grine Fred Grine is Professor of Anthropology and of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. He has published over 100 articles in scientific journals dealing with the subject of human evolution, and his work on the Late Pleistocene human fossil from Hofmeyr, South Africa, was named by Time Magazine as one of the top ten science stories of 2007. He edited Evolutionary History of the 'Robust' Australopithecines (1988, Aldine de Gruyter), and is author of Regional Human Anatomy: a Laboratory Workbook (2002, 2005, 2007, McGraw-Hill). John G. Fleagle John Fleagle is Distinguished Professor of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. He has conducted paleontological field work in many parts of the world, including Argentina, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia and India. He is the author of the textbook Primate Adaptation and Evolution (1988, 1999, Elsevier), co-editor of the Human Evolution Sourcebook (1993, 2006, Prentice Hall), and editor of the journal Evolutionary Anthropology. Richard E. Leakey Richard Leakey is Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University and former Director of the Kenya National Museums and the Kenya Wildlife Service. His field work around Lake Turkana, Kenya, has yielded a treasure trove of hominin fossils that has provided much of the paleontological record on which our understanding of human evolution is based. He has authored a number of books, including Origins, and most recently, The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and The Future of Humankind. He is Chairman of the Board of the Turkana Basin Institute at Stony Brook University.

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