The Last Human

The Last Human

A Guide to Twenty-two Species of Extinct Humans

Book - 2007
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This book tells the story of human evolution, the epic of Homo sapiens and its colorful precursors and relatives. The story begins in Africa, six to seven million years ago, and encompasses twenty known human species, of which Homo sapiens is the sole survivor. Illustrated with spectacular, three-dimensional scientific reconstructions portrayed in their natural habitat developed by a team of physical anthropologists at the American Museum of Natural History and in concert with experts from around the world, the book is both a guide to extinct human species and an astonishing hominid family photo album.
The Last Human presents a comprehensive account of each species with information on its emergence, chronology, geographic range, classification, physiology, lifestyle, habitat, environment, cultural achievements, co-existing species, and possible reasons for extinction. Also included are summaries of fossil discoveries, controversies, and publications. What emerges from the fossil story is a new understanding of Homo sapiens . No longer credible is the notion that our species is the end product of a single lineage, improved over generations by natural selection. Rather, the fossil record shows, we are a species with widely varied precursors, and our family tree is characterized by many branchings and repeated extinctions.
Exhibition information:
Photographs of most of the reconstructions that appear in this book will be featured in exhibits appearing in the new Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The opening of the Hall is planned for November 2006.
Publisher: New Haven, Conn. ; London : Yale University Press, [2007]
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9780300100471
Characteristics: 256 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), maps ; 28 cm


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Nov 27, 2017

This was a terrific book! When seeing the size of it (its the size of most art history books), I feared that I might get a children's book, but I was pleasantly surprised! The chapters are mostly factual - they are each prefaced by an exercise of the imagination by a researcher - but the bulk of each chapter is well-structured, factual, concise, and thorough enough with out becoming so detailed that one needs technical expertise to understand it. Small maps and photos of reconstructed figures aid both the sensual understanding and imaginative understanding. The best aspect by for is that the authors express reservations and also that some matters are not settled. Small further reading guide at the back, and an index too.

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