Masters Of The Planet By Ian Tattersall

Decent Essays
Ian Tattersall, author of "Masters of the Planet", is curator emeritus at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Tattersall was born in 1945 in the United Kingdom, and grew up in east Africa. He trained in archeology and anthropology at the University of Cambridge, and earned his PhD from Yale University in 1971. Tattersall’s main focus over the course of his career has been on three areas; the human fossil record, the study and ecology of Lemurs in Madagascar, and finally on human cognition. He brings to the issues a lifetime of expertise in hominid evolution, as well as abundant experience in writing books for general audiences.
Masters of the Planet is organized historically, and traces the diverse and complicated history of hominids over the past 8 million years. The book begins with the ancient origins of the hominid lineage, it outlines the rise of bipedal apes beginning with Australopithecus (including “Lucy”), the harsh life on the savannah, the multiple emergence from Africa, the spread of early "Homo" throughout the Old World continents, the misunderstood Neanderthals (our distant cousins) and finally the arrival of modern Homo sapiens.
Tattersall’s main argument in this book is how and why we are so different from not only our ancestors, but the rest of nature. Masters of the Planet goes into some detail on the skeletal features of all of our distant relatives but also focuses on aspects of social behavior, bipedalism, losing bodily hair, diet
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