The Improbable Primate: How Water Shaped Human Evolution
king an ecological approach to our evolution, Clive In this fresh and provocative view of a seven-million-year evolutionary journey, Finlayson demonstrates the radical implications for the interpretation of fossils and technologies and shows that understanding humans within an ecological context provides insights into the emergence and spread of Homo sapiens sapiens worldwide. context of a drying climate and changing landscapes. Finlayson argues that environmental change, particularly availability of water, played a critical role in shaping the direction of human evolution, contributing to our spread and success. He argues that our ancestors carved a niche for themselves by leaving the forest and forcing their way into a long-established community of carnivores in a tropical savannah as climate changes opened up the landscape. They took their chance at high noon, when most other predators were asleep. Adapting to this new lifestyle by shedding their hair and developing an active sweating system to keep cool, being close to fresh water was vital. As the climate dried, our ancestors, already bipedal, became taller and slimmer, more adept at travelling farther in search of water. The challenges of seeking water in a drying landscape moulded the minds and bodies of early humans, and directed their migrations and eventual settlements. In this fresh and provocative view of a seven-million-year evolutionary journey, Finlayson demonstrates the radical implications for the interpretation of fossils and technologies and shows that understanding humans within an ecological context provides insights into the emergence and spread of Homo sapiens sapiens worldwide.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Inverted Panda
And the World Changed Forever
At the Lakes Edge
The First Humans
Middle Earth The Home of the First Humans
The Drying World of the Middle Pleistocene
The Rain ChasersSolutions in a Drying World
Other editions - View all
Acheulian adaptation ancestors animals aquatic Aquatic Ape Hypothesis archaeological Ardipithecus ramidus areas arid Australia Australopithecus became behaviour brain Cave Chapter climate close coast coastal cold and dry colonized Denisovans desert diet dispersed Dmanisi drier earliest early hominids East ecological environments Eurasia Europe evidence evolutionary expansion exploited Extinct Finlayson forest fossils fresh water genetic geographical giant panda Gibraltar grasslands groups habilis heidelbergensis hind limbs Homo erectus Homo heidelbergensis Homo sapiens Human Evolution human populations Iberia included Journal of Human lake landscape lineage lived mammals Mardu Middle Pleistocene million years ago mobility Modern Humans mountains Neanderthals northern occupied Oldowan Olorgesailie open spaces Palaeolithic Paranthropus periods predators primate Puritjarra rain chasers rainfall rainforest regions rivers rocky habitats savannah seasonal sediba seems south-east Asia southern Middle Earth species stone tools survive territory thousand years ago Toumaļ trees and open tropical water sources wetland woodland