Thursday, September 28, 2006


Where Did We Come From? Book Review

Carl Zimmer reviews his own book in Cosmos Magazine: Where Did We Come From? is the Australian edition of a book sold overseas as The Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins (Amazon UK | US).

It is a beautifully illustrated account of human evolution, from the first hominids to relatively recent times when Homo sapiens began to spread across the world. The style is simple enough for older children, but adults will also enjoy the clarity with which Zimmer sorts out humanity's tangled evolutionary path. He explains historical and current controversies, and includes the latest findings and theories.

Along the way, we meet species that either preceded modern humans or lived with prehistoric Homo sapiens. Among them are Sahelanthropus tchadensis, the first hominid of which we have a fossil record (about six to seven million years old). Then there is Australopithecus afarensis, the species to which the famous 'Lucy' belonged when she lived in Africa over three million years ago. [Hominid, Review, Controversy]

See "Selam: Species Identification of 'Lucy's Child' Challenged By Anthropologist from Pittsburgh University"

Books on Human Origins from the Science and Evolution Bookshop: UK | US

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