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The Humans Who Went Extinct

Author : Clive Finlayson
ISBN : 9780199239191
Genre : Science
File Size : 51.80 MB
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Originally published in hardcover: Oxford; New York: Oxford Universtiy Press, 2009.
Category: Science

The Improbable Primate

Author : Clive Finlayson
ISBN : 9780191503771
Genre : Science
File Size : 60.62 MB
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Taking an ecological approach to our evolution, Clive Finlayson considers the origins of modern humans within the 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.
Category: Science

The Human Behavior

Author : Valentin Matcas
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 32.67 MB
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How can you control yourself and be successful in all situations throughout life? You simply learn everything about yourself, and about life. To be specific, your behavior represents the summation of your lifelong activity, and this is what you have to address. How can you improve and control your behavior, in order to be successful and understand the world? In what interests you, the world is structured into environments, while you behave differently throughout them all, in order to match them with your most adequate behavior. You have your social, natural, and cognitive environments among others, we consider them all throughout the book, while studying the variety of behaviors that you undergo throughout them all. We perform this study as a comprehensive model, from all perspectives. Throughout this book, you learn everything about the human behavior, everything necessary to help you control yourself, understand others, and develop to higher levels, along with everything necessary for you to help and educate others to behave well, and to develop to higher levels. Your behavior is very complex, and this is your chance to understand it entirely. You will understand the human behavior from all perspectives, by integrating it in all relevant topics of influence. Therefore, along with the human behavior, you will understand your needs, your reasoning, and your development, along with the influence coming from your inner self, family, society, Media and Entertainment, Education, ideologies, and much more. This entire model of your behavior is structured specifically to be acquired easily and directly, with you having the opportunity to reason alongside it, continuously and successfully. If you want to learn about the human behavior in order to be able to control yourself, understand and educate others, and be successful throughout life, then this is the book for you! Enjoy!
Category: Psychology

Species Richness

Author : Jonathan Adams
ISBN : 9783540742784
Genre : Science
File Size : 72.57 MB
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This is a readable, informative and up-to-date account of the patterns and controls on biodiversity. The author describes major trends in species richness, along with uncertainties in current knowledge. The various possible explanations for past and present species patterns are discussed and explained in an even-handed and accessible way. The implications of global climate change and habitat loss are considered, along with current strategies for preserving what we have. This book examines the state of current understanding of species richness patterns and their explanations. As well as the present day world, it deals with diversification and extinction, in the conservation of species richness, and the difficulties of assessing how many species remain to be discovered. The scientifically compelling subject of vegetation-climate interaction is considered in depth. Written in an accessible style, the author offers an up-to-date, rigorous and yet eminently comprehensible overview of the ecology and biogeography of species richness. He departs from the often heavy approach of earlier texts, without sacrificing rigor and depth of information and analysis. Prefacing with the aims of the book, Chapter 1 opens with an explanation of latitudinal gradients, including a description of major features of the striking gradients in species richness, exceptions to the rule, explanations, major theories and field and experimental tests. The following chapter plumbs the depth of time, including the nature of the fossil record, broad timescale diversity patterns, ecosystem changes during mass extinctions and glaciations and their influence on species richness. Chapters 3 and 4 consider hotspots and local scale patterns in species richness while Chapter 5 looks at the limitations and uncertainties on current estimates of richness, the last frontiers of species diversity and the process of identifying new life forms. The last three chapters cover humans and extinctions in history and prehistory, current habitat and global change, including the greenhouse effect, and the race to preserve what we still have, including parks, gene banks and laws.
Category: Science

The Next Species

Author : Michael Tennesen
ISBN : 9781451677539
Genre : Science
File Size : 85.85 MB
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“Simultaneously sobering and exhilarating, Michael Tennesen’s wide-ranging survey of disasters highlights both life’s fragility and its metamorphosing persistence” (Booklist) and describes what life on earth could look like after the next mass extinction. A growing number of scientists agree we are headed toward a mass extinction, perhaps in as little as 300 years. Already there have been five mass extinctions in the last 600 million years, including the Cretaceous Extinction, during which an asteroid knocked out the dinosaurs. Though these events were initially destructive, they were also prime movers of evolutionary change in nature. And we can see some of the warning signs of another extinction event coming, as our oceans lose both fish and oxygen, and our lands lose both predators and prey. In The Next Species, Michael Tennesen questions what life might be like after it happens. In thoughtful, provocative ways, Tennesen discusses the future of nature and whether humans will make it through the bottleneck of extinction. Could life suddenly get very big as it did before the arrival of humans? Could the conquest of Mars lead to another form of human? Could we upload our minds into a computer and live in a virtual reality? How would we recognize the next humans? Are they with us now? Tennesen delves into the history of the planet and travels to rainforests, canyons, craters, and caves all over the world to explore the potential winners and losers of the next era of evolution. His predictions, based on reports and interviews with top scientists, have vital implications for life on earth today. The Next Species is “an engrossing history of life, the dismal changes wrought by man, and a forecast of life after the sixth mass extinction” (Kirkus Reviews).
Category: Science

The Human Journey

Author : Kevin Reilly
ISBN : 9781442213548
Genre : History
File Size : 41.97 MB
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The Human Journey offers a truly concise yet satisfyingly full history of the world from ancient times to the present. The book’s scope, as the title implies, is the whole story of humanity, in planetary context. Its themes include not only the great questions of the humanities—nature versus nurture, the history and meaning of human variation, the sources of wealth and causes of revolution—but also the major transformations in human history: agriculture, cities, iron, writing, universal religions, global trade, industrialization, popular government, justice, and equality. In each conceptually rich chapter, leading historian Kevin Reilly concentrates on a single important period and theme, sustaining a focused narrative and analytical perspective. Chapter 2, for example, discusses the significance of bronze-age urbanization and the advent of the Iron Age. Chapter 3 examines the meaning and significance of the age of “classical” civilizations. Chapter 4 explains the spread of universal religions and new technologies in the postclassical age of Eurasian integration. But these examples also reveal a range of approaches to world history. The first chapter is an example of current “Big History,” the second of history as technological transformations, the third of comparative history, the fourth the history of connections that dominates, and thus narrows, so many texts. Free of either a confined, limiting focus or a mandatory laundry list of topics, this book begins with our most important questions and searches all of our past for answers. Well-grounded in the latest scholarship, this is not a fill-in-the-blanks text, but world history in a grand humanistic tradition.
Category: History

The Neanderthals

Author : Charles River Charles River Editors
ISBN : 1987534174
Genre :
File Size : 73.65 MB
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*Includes pictures *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading In popular culture, the term Neanderthal is used as a colloquial insult for a degenerate or someone perceived as stupid. This seems to have been the case even from the first recognition of the Neanderthals as a species. The first Neanderthal fossil discovery was that of a child's skull in Belgium in 1829, but it was badly damaged. Another would be discovered in 1856 in a limestone mine of the Neanderthal region of what is present-day Germany, and a skull with differing distinct traits (indicating a different species than the Neanderthals) would be discovered just over a decade later in southwestern France. The latter specimen would come to be recognized as an example of the species Homo Sapiens, and these anatomically modern humans arrived in Europe between 45,000 and 43,000 years ago, around the time the Neanderthals are believed to started going extinct. The Neanderthals are a member of the genus Homo just like Homo sapiens and share roughly 99.7% of their DNA with modern humans (Reynolds and Gallagher 2012). Both species even lived briefly during the same time in Eurasia. However, the Neanderthals evolved separately in Europe, away from modern humans, who evolved in Africa. Physically, the Neanderthal skeleton was much more robust, suggesting that there was more room for muscle attachment. However, while Neanderthals were stronger than modern humans, the average height of the Neanderthal male was shorter, standing at only about 5'5 tall. Other physical characteristics that set the Neanderthals apart from modern humans were certain skull traits. The skull in general was low and elongated, featuring a sloping forehead with an occipital bun (a bone projection at the back of the skull), whereas modern humans have a more vertical forehead with no occipital bun. The cranial capacity of the Neanderthal skull was also greater than the modern human at 1,500-1,740 cc, and it lacked a chin and had more circular eye orbits, in contrast to Homo sapiens, which have a chin and tend to feature more rectangular eye orbits (Wolpoff 1999). Despite these differences, the Neanderthals may have been recognizable enough to interact with Homo sapiens or even blend in with Homo sapiens for the thousands of years they lived together in Europe. The Neanderthals lived in Europe and Asia for nearly 200,000 years and thrived in these regions, but they went extinct between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago, around the same time that modern humans began arriving in Europe. This has prompted much speculation as to the nature of the interactions between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, especially since some researchers believe they interacted with each other for over 5,000 years before the Neanderthals began going extinct at different times across Europe. One hypothesis is that Homo sapiens displaced the Neanderthals and were better suited for the environment, and it is obviously possible if not likely that these two groups had become competitors for food and other resources, with Homo sapiens being more successful in the end. If such close interactions were taking place, there is also a possibility that the relatively new-to-Europe Homo sapiens brought pathogens from Africa with them that were unknown to the Neanderthal's immune system. A more recent example of this type of resulting interaction is the European expansion into the Americas, which brought diseases like smallpox that the natives of America had never experienced before, especially diseases resulting from the domestication of animals. It is possible that the domestication of the dog by Homo sapiens may have contributed in spreading foreign diseases among the Neanderthals. This book looks at the evolution of the Neanderthals and examines the theories regarding how they went extinct.

Masters Of The Planet

Author : Ian Tattersall
ISBN : 9781137000385
Genre : Science
File Size : 21.56 MB
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50,000 years ago – merely a blip in evolutionary time – our Homo sapiens ancestors were competing for existence with several other human species, just as their own precursors had been doing for millions of years. Yet something about our species separated it from the pack, and led to its survival while the rest became extinct. So just what was it that allowed Homo sapiens to become Masters of the Planet? Curator Emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History, Ian Tattersall takes us deep into the fossil record to uncover what made humans so special. Surveying a vast field from initial bipedality to language and intelligence, Tattersall argues that Homo sapiens acquired a winning combination of traits that was not the result of long term evolutionary refinement. Instead it emerged quickly, shocking their world and changing it forever.
Category: Science

The Invaders

Author : Pat Shipman
ISBN : 9780674736764
Genre : Science
File Size : 75.15 MB
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Humans domesticated dogs soon after Neanderthals began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, Pat Shipman hypothesizes, made possible unprecedented success in hunting large Ice Age mammals—a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for human invaders at a time when climate change made both humans and Neanderthals vulnerable.
Category: Science

The Global Prehistory Of Human Migration

Author : Immanuel Ness
ISBN : 9781118970584
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 83.79 MB
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Previously published as the first volume of The Encyclopediaof Global Human Migration, this work is devoted exclusively toprehistoric migration, covering all periods and places from thefirst hominin migrations out of Africa through the end ofprehistory. Presents interdisciplinary coverage of this topic, includingscholarship from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, genetics,biology, linguistics, and more Includes contributions from a diverse international team ofauthors, representing 17 countries and a variety ofdisciplines Divided into two sections, covering the Pleistocene andHolocene; each section examines human migration through chaptersthat focus on different regional and disciplinary lenses
Category: Social Science