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The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

Escrito por Ann Gibbons

Narrado por Renée Raudman


The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

Escrito por Ann Gibbons

Narrado por Renée Raudman

avaliações:
4/5 (5 avaliações)
Comprimento:
9 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Jun 15, 2006
ISBN:
9781400172382
Formato:
Audiolivro

Descrição

This dynamic chronicle of the race to find the "missing links" between humans and apes transports readers into the highly competitive world of fossil hunting and into the lives of the ambitious scientists intent on pinpointing the dawn of humankind.



The quest to find where and when the earliest human ancestors first appeared is one of the most exciting and challenging of all scientific pursuits. The First Human is the story of four international teams obsessed with solving the mystery of human evolution and of the intense rivalries that propel them.



An award-winning science writer, Ann Gibbons introduces the various maverick fossil hunters and describes their most significant discoveries in Africa. There is Tim White, the irreverent and brilliant Californian whose team discovered the partial skeleton of a primate that lived more than 4.4 million years ago in Ethiopia. If White can prove that it was hominid-an ancestor of humans and not of chimpanzees or other great apes-he can lay claim to discovering the oldest known member of the human family. As White painstakingly prepares the bones, the French paleontologist Michel Brunet comes forth with another, even more startling find. Well known for his work in the most remote and hostile locations, Brunet and his team uncover a stunning skull in Chad that could set the date of the beginnings of humankind to almost seven million years ago. Two other groups-one led by the zoologist Meave Leakey, the other by the British geologist Martin Pickford and his partner, Brigitte Senut, a French paleontologist-enter the race with landmark discoveries of other fossils vying for the status of the first human ancestor.



Through scrupulous research and vivid first-person reporting, The First Human takes readers behind the scenes to reveal the intense challenges of fossil hunting on a grand competitive scale.
Editora:
Lançado em:
Jun 15, 2006
ISBN:
9781400172382
Formato:
Audiolivro


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  • (4/5)
    A very interesting look at some of the most important hominid fossil discoveries of the last 15 years, and the paleoanthropologists who discovered them. Ann Gibbons is a correspondent for Science magazine, and has covered human evolution for more than a decade. She does a fantastic job in this book of writing about evolution in a highly accurate, easy-to-read manner, without overly simplifying the topic for a mainstream audience.

    It is rare for an evolution book to go into detail about the turmoil amongst scientists, and Gibbons does so in an even handed way. We get to hear about the dangers involved in the hunt for the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees, in regions subject to days-long sandstorms, bandits, and civil war. You also see how basic human emotions (ambition! jealousy!) and politics can interfere with the progression of science, especially in such a sensitive scientific topic. In fact, we almost hear more about the tensions in the field than the actual fossils themselves, which would be my only major complaint.
  • (4/5)
    In this dynamic account, award-winning science writer Ann Gibbons chronicles an extraordinary quest to answer the most primal of questions: When and where was the dawn of humankind?Following four intensely competitive international teams of scientists in a heated race to find the “missing link”–the fossil of the earliest human ancestor–Gibbons ventures to Africa, where she encounters a fascinating array of fossil hunters: Tim White, the irreverent Californian who discovered the partial skeleton of a primate that lived 4.4 million years ago in Ethiopia; French paleontologist Michel Brunet, who uncovers a skull in Chad that could date the beginnings of humankind to seven million years ago; and two other groups–one led by zoologist Meave Leakey, the other by British geologist Martin Pickford and his French paleontologist partner, Brigitte Senut–who enter the race with landmark discoveries of their own. Through scrupulous research and vivid first-person reporting, The First Human reveals the perils and the promises of fossil hunting on a grand competitive scale.
  • (4/5)
    This book is a fascinating look into the world of modern Archaeology. The author gives a good summary of recent finds and the ages/characteristics of each, as well as a window on the situation of competition and rivalry among archaeologists.After reading this overview, it is possible to read further on each find - I am eager to read _Lucy's Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins_ by Dr. Donald Johanson, which is on our New Nonfiction bookshelf at the library.
  • (4/5)
    A very good and readable primer of where we are in the race to find the oldest hominid fossil. Incredible amount of new evidence just in the last ten years. Makes me want to fly off to Africa and search for old bones.
  • (4/5)
    After have read many books on paleontology, this book is fresh because it focuses on the paleontologists and their conflicts. Makes their lives interesting.