Buy Textbooks  |  Rent Textbooks  |  Sell Textbooks  |  eTextbooks
Help  |  Questions? 1-877-292-6442
Hello, Sign In
Your Account
0

Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know about Human Evolution - 2nd edition

Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know about Human Evolution (ISBN10: 0195367669; ISBN13: 9780195367669)
ISBN13: 978-0195367669
ISBN10: 0195367669

Summary: One of the most remarkable fossil finds in history occurred in Laetoli, Tanzania, in 1974, when anthropologist Andrew Hill (diving to the ground to avoid a lump of elephant dung thrown by a colleague) came face to face with a set of ancient footprints captured in stone--the earliest recorded steps of our far-off human ancestors, some three million years old. Today we can see a recreation of the making of the Laetoli footprints at the American Museum of Natural Histor
y, in a stunning diorama which depicts two of our human forebears walking side by side through a snowy landscape of volcanic ash. But how do we know what these three-million-year-old relatives looked like? How have we reconstructed the eons-long journey from our first ancient steps to where we stand today? In short, how do we know what we think we know about human evolution?
In The Fossil Trail, Ian Tattersall, the head of the Anthropology Department at the American Museum of Natural History, takes us on a sweeping tour of the study of human evolution, offering a colorful history of fossil discoveries and a revealing insider's look at how these finds have been interpreted--and misinterpreted--through time. All the major figures and discoveries are here. We meet Lamarck and Cuvier and Darwin (we learn that Darwin's theory of evolution, though a bombshell, was very congenial to a Victorian ethos of progress), right up to modern theorists such as Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould. Tattersall describes Dubois's work in Java, the many discoveries in South Africa by pioneers such as Raymond Dart and Robert Broom, Louis and Mary Leakey's work at Olduvai Gorge, Don Johanson's famous discovery of "Lucy" (a 3.4million-year-old female hominid, some 40% complete), and the more recent discovery of the "Turkana Boy," even more complete than "Lucy," and remarkably similar to modern human skeletons. He discusses the many techniques available to analyze finds, from fluorine analysis (developed in the 1950s, it exposed Piltdown as a hoax) and radiocarbon dating to such modern techniques as electron spin resonance and the analysis of human mitochondrial DNA. He gives us a succinct picture of what we presently think our "family tree" looks like, with at least three genera and perhaps a dozen species through time (though he warns that this greatly underestimates the actual diversity of hominids over the past two million or so years). And he paints a vivid, insider's portrait of paleoanthropology, the dogged work in the broiling sun, searching for a tooth, or a fractured corner of bone, amid stone litter and shadows, with no guarantee of ever finding anything. And perhaps most important, Tattersall looks at all these great researchers and discoveries within the context of their social and scientific milleu, to reveal the insidious ways that the received wisdom can shape how we interpret fossil findings, that what we expect to find colors our understanding of what we do find.
Refreshingly opinionated and vividly narrated, The Fossil Trail is the only book available to general readers that offers a full history of our study of human evolution. A fascinating story with intriguing turns along the way, this well-illustrated volume is essential reading for anyone curious about our human origins.
...show more
Summary: One of the most remarkable fossil finds in history occurred in Laetoli, Tanzania, in 1974, when anthropologist Andrew Hill (diving to the ground to avoid a lump of elephant dung thrown by a colleague) came face to face with a set of ancient footprints captured in stone--the earliest recorded steps of our far-off human ancestors, some three million years old. Today we can see a recreation of the making of the Laetoli footprints at the American Museum of Natural History, in a stunning diorama which depicts two of our human forebears walking side by side through a snowy landscape of volcanic ash. But how do we know what these three-million-year-old relatives looked like? How have we reconstructed the eons-long journey from our first ancient steps to where we stand today? In short, how do we know what we think we know about human evolution?
In The Fossil Trail, Ian Tattersall, the head of the Anthropology Department at the American Museum of Natural History, takes us on a sweeping tour of the study of human evolution, offering a colorful history of fossil discoveries and a revealing insider's look at how these finds have been interpreted--and misinterpreted--through time. All the major figures and discoveries are here. We meet Lamarck and Cuvier and Darwin (we learn that Darwin's theory of evolution, though a bombshell, was very congenial to a Victorian ethos of progress), right up to modern theorists such as Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould. Tattersall describes Dubois's work in Java, the many discoveries in South Africa by pioneers such as Raymond Dart and Robert Broom, Louis and Mary Leakey's work at Olduvai Gorge, Don Johanson's famous discovery of "Lucy" (a 3.4million-year-old female hominid, some 40% complete), and the more recent discovery of the "Turkana Boy," even more complete than "Lucy," and remarkably similar to modern human skeletons. He discusses the many techniques available to analyze finds, from fluorine analysis (developed in the 1950s, it exposed Piltdown as a hoax) and radiocarbon dating to such modern techniques as electron spin resonance and the analysis of human mitochondrial DNA. He gives us a succinct picture of what we presently think our "family tree" looks like, with at least three genera and perhaps a dozen species through time (though he warns that this greatly underestimates the actual diversity of hominids over the past two million or so years). And he paints a vivid, insider's portrait of paleoanthropology, the dogged work in the broiling sun, searching for a tooth, or a fractured corner of bone, amid stone litter and shadows, with no guarantee of ever finding anything. And perhaps most important, Tattersall looks at all these great researchers and discoveries within the context of their social and scientific milleu, to reveal the insidious ways that the received wisdom can shape how we interpret fossil findings, that what we expect to find colors our understanding of what we do find.
Refreshingly opinionated and vividly narrated, The Fossil Trail is the only book available to general readers that offers a full history of our study of human evolution. A fascinating story with intriguing turns along the way, this well-illustrated volume is essential reading for anyone curious about our human origins. ...show less

Edition/Copyright: 2ND 09
Cover: Paperback
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 11/19/2008
International: No



List Price: $42.95
Used $21.48
Used
Save $21.47 (50%)
  • FREE shipping over $25
  • In stock
  • 30-day returns
Condition:
Order this book in the next 1 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes and it ships by Noon CT Monday!
New  Currently Sold Out
Marketplace sellers starting at $3.55

20 more offers below.

The Marketplace on Textbooks.com
Additional Sellers for Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know about Human Evolution
Just for you, we curate a growing list of independent booksellers, giving you even MORE choices when shopping for your textbooks.
Keep in mind: Marketplace orders do NOT qualify for free shipping. More about the MarketplaceMore about the Marketplace

Filter by:   All (20)  |  New (6)  |  Like New (1)  |  Very Good (3)  |  Good (9)  |  Acceptable (1)

Price
 
Condition
Seller
Comments
$21.48
+$3.99 s/h

Very Good
Textbooks.com
Columbia, MO
Ships Ground DIRECTLY from Textbooks.com for $3.99. FREE Ground Shipping over $25! Very good condition (Certified Used). Trackable expedited shipping options available.
$36.05
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
New
Barnes & Noble.com
Various Shipping Locations, USA
Seller Rating: 5
Brand new, ships from the closest shipping location to your shipping address!
$3.55
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
Good
More Than Words MA
Waltham, MA
Seller Rating: 4.63
Good Slight water damage A sound copy with only light wear. Overall a solid copy at a great price! All orders guaranteed and ship within 24 hours. Your purchase supports More Than Words, a nonprofit ...show more job training program for youth, empowering youth to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. ...show less
$3.66
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
Good
HippoBooks-DB
Toledo, OH
Seller Rating: 4.5
Our feedback rating says it all: Five star service and fast delivery! We have shipped four million items to happy customers, and have one MILLION unique items ready to ship today!
$4.79
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
Good
HPB-Lane-Avenue
Columbus, OH
Seller Rating: 4.69
2008 Paperback Good : Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not include cd-rom or ...show moreaccess codes. Customer service is our top priority! ...show less
$10.74
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
Good
One Planet Books
Columbia, MO
Seller Rating: 4.55
Ships same day or next business day! UPS expedited shipping available (Priority Mail for AK/HI/APO/PO Boxes). Used sticker & some writing and/or highlighting. Used books may not include working access ...show more code or dust jacket ...show less
$13.99
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
Good
HPB-Humble
Humble, TX
Seller Rating: 4.5
2008 Paperback Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not include cd-rom or ac ...show morecess codes. Customer service is our top priority! ...show less
$21.48
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
VeryGood
Textbookcenter.com
Columbia, MO
Seller Rating: 4.63
Ships same day or next business day via UPS (Priority Mail for AK/HI/APO/PO Boxes)! Used sticker and some writing and/or highlighting. Used books may not include working access code or dust jacket.
$26.15
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
VeryGood
Magus Books WA
Seattle, WA
Seller Rating: 4.89
2008 Paperback First Edition; First Printing Very Good+ 0195367669. Paperback, with shelfwear along the edges, corners slightly bumped; no internal markings, underlining, or owner's signatures.; 9.1 ...show more3 X 6.06 X 0.87 inches; 352 pages. ...show less
$28.80
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
Good
Nettextstore
Lincoln, NE
Seller Rating: 4.55
2008 Paperback Good Books have varying amounts of wear and highlighting. Usually ships within 24 hours in quality packaging. Satisfaction guaranteed. This item may not include any CDs, Infotracs, A ...show moreccess cards or other supplementary material. ...show less
$28.82
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
New
**UNIQUE_MEDIA**
Parma, OH
Seller Rating: 4.54
New Expedited shipping within U.S. will arrive in 3-5 days.100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Thank you for your support. WE SHIP NEXT BUSINESS DAY IN BUBBLE MAILER WITH TRACKING NUMBE ...show moreR. b3. ...show less
$30.03
+$3.99 s/h
Add marketplace to your cart
New
indoo
Avenel, NJ
Seller Rating: 4.15
BRAND NEW
Page:   1     2     |   Next >
Close
Close
Close