Fossil Men: The Quest For The Oldest Fossil Skeleton And The Battle To Define Human Origins (Hardback)Kermit Pattison (author)
- Coming soon
In 1994, an excavation team led by fossil-hunting legend Tim White-"the Steve Jobs of paleoanthropology"-uncovered the bones of a human ancestor in Ethiopia's Afar region. Radiometric dating indicated the skeleton, classified as Ardipithecus ramidus, was 4.4 million years old, more than a million years older than "Lucy," our earliest known human ancestor. The findings shattered many widely accepted assumptions about human evolution-how we started walking, how we evolved our nimble hands, and, most significantly, whether we were descended from a common ancestor that resembled today's chimpanzee-and repudiated a half-century of paleoanthropological orthodoxy.
Fossil Men is the first full-length exploration of Ardi, the fossil men who found her, and her impact on what we know about the origins of the human species. Kermit Pattison brings into focus a cast of eccentric, obsessive scientists, including one of the world's greatest fossil hunters, Tim White-an irascible and demanding scientist feared by friends and enemies alike; Gen Suwa, a Japanese savant who slept in his office so he could devote more time to fossils; Owen Lovejoy, a onetime creationist-turned-paleoanthropologist; Berhane Asfaw, who survived imprisonment and torture to become Ethiopia's most senior paleoanthropologist and who fought for Africans scientists to gain equal footing in the study of human origins; and the Leakeys, for decades the most famous family in anthropology, who maintained a testy relationship with the Ardi team and cast doubt on the discovery.
An intriguing tale of scientific discovery and bitter rivalry that moves from the sun-baked plains of Africa and a nation caught in a brutal civil war, to modern high-tech labs and academic lecture halls, Fossil Men is popular science at its best, and a must read for fans of Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, and Edward O. Wilson.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 646 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 29 mm
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review