Missing Links: In Search of Human Origins

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9780199276851: Missing Links: In Search of Human Origins

This is the story of the search for humanity's origins--from the Middle Ages, when questions of the earth's antiquity first began to arise, through to the latest genetic discoveries that show the interrelatedness of all living creatures.

Central to the story is the part played by fossils--first, in establishing the age of the Earth; then, following Darwin, in the pursuit of possible "Missing Links" that would establish whether or not humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor. John Reader's lifelong passion for this quest--palaeoanthropology--began when he reported on the celebrated "Lucy" finds in Ethiopia, for Life Magazine. Drawing on both historic and recent research, he tells the fascinating story of the science as it has developed from the activities of a few dedicated individuals, into the rigorous multidisciplinary work of today. His arresting photographs give a unique insight into the fossils, the discoverers, and the settings. His vivid narrative reveals both the context in which our ancestors evolved, and also the realities confronting the modern scientist. The story he tells is peopled by eccentrics and enthusiasts, and punctuated by controversy and even fraud. It is a celebration of discoveries--Neanderthal Man in the 1850s, Java Man (1891), Australopithecus (1925), Peking Man (1926), Homo habilis (1964) and beyond. It is a story of fragmentary shards of evidence, and the competing interpretations built upon them. And it is a tale of scientific breakthroughs--dating technology, genetics and molecular biology--that have enabled us to set the fossil evidence in the context of human evolution.

Boasting seventy-five original color photographs--taken by the author, specifically for this book--Missing Links offers a wealth of scientific insight.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:


John Reader is a writer and photographer with more than fifty years of professional experience. He is the author of numerous books, including The Untold History of the Potato, Africa (the PBS companion volume), Pyramids of Life (with Harvey Croze), and Rise of Life.

Review:


"the best available book on the history of paleoanthropology." --Tim White, The Browser


"The cast of ancient superstars in palaeoanthropologist John Reader's book has grown significantly in the 30 years since the first edition. Neanderthal Man, Lucy and other early hominin fossils are joined by finds from Homo floresiensis to Ardipithecus in a stunningly illustrated update. Powered by enthusiasm and peppered with controversy, the search for human origins is laid out clearly and succinctly." --Nature


"This is the second edition of a classic, almost totally new, updated, with a set of spectacular new illustrations of fossils and field workers and digs -- the whole array enough to make you wish you had spent your life as a physical anthropologist -- truly one of the most exciting intellectual adventures imaginable...The book is immensely readable, a fabulous journey for any reader...Get hold of this book and read it." --Dan Agin, Huffington Post


"This is a revised, updated version of one of the most popular general surveys of human evolution by a science writer whose photographs of fossils, sites, and scientists have become iconic in the field...Highly recommended." --Choice


"the best available book on the history of paleoanthropology." --Tim White, The Browser


"The cast of ancient superstars in palaeoanthropologist John Reader's book has grown significantly in the 30 years since the first edition. Neanderthal Man, Lucy and other early hominin fossils are joined by finds from Homo floresiensis to Ardipithecus in a stunningly illustrated update. Powered by enthusiasm and peppered with controversy, the search for human origins is laid out clearly and succinctly." --Nature


"This is the second edition of a classic, almost totally new, updated, with a set of spectacular new illustrations of fossils and field workers and digs -- the whole array enough to make you wish you had spent your life as a physical anthropologist -- truly one of the most exciting intellectual adventures imaginable...The book is immensely readable, a fabulous journey for any reader...Get hold of this book and read it." --Dan Agin, Huffington Post


"This is a revised, updated version of one of the most popular general surveys of human evolution by a science writer whose photographs of fossils, sites, and scientists have become iconic in the field...Highly recommended." --Choice


"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, New York/Oxford/London, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 350 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. EVOLUTION. This is the story of the search for humanity's origins--from the Middle Ages, when questions of the earth's antiquity first began to arise, through to the latest genetic discoveries that show the interrelatedness of all living creatures. Central to the story is the part played by fossils - first, in establishing the age of the Earth; then, following Darwin, in the pursuit of possible "Missing Links" that would establish whether or not humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor. John Reader's lifelong passion for this quest - palaeoanthropology - began when he reported on the celebrated "Lucy" finds in Ethiopia, for Life Magazine. Drawing on both historic and recent research, he tells the fascinating story of the science as it has developed from the activities of a few dedicated individuals, into the rigorous multidisciplinary work of today. His arresting photographs give a unique insight into the fossils, the discoverers, and the settings. His vivid narrative reveals both the context in which our ancestors evolved, and also the realities confronting the modern scientist. The story he tells is peopled by eccentrics and enthusiasts, and punctuated by controversy and even fraud. It is a celebration of discoveries - Neanderthal Man in the 1850s, Java Man (1891), Australopithecus (1925), Peking Man (1926), Homo habilis (1964) and beyond. It is a story of fragmentary shards of evidence, and the competing interpretations built upon them. And it is a tale of scientific breakthroughs--dating technology, genetics and molecular biology--that have enabled us to set the fossil evidence in the context of human evolution. Boasting seventy-five original color photographs - taken by the author, specifically for this book - Missing Links offers a wealth of scientific insight. Features * The story of the search for human origins, and the science behind the story * Focuses on the finds, the personalities, and the rival theories * Richly illustrated with the author's own photographs of fossils, discoverers, and locations * Draws upon both historic and current research * Reader accompanied Richard Leakey on his first fossil-hunting expedition to Lake Turkana in Kenya * 70% new material; 5 new chapters * Covers 30 years of discoveries since the previous book was published * 20 new photographs John Reader is a writer and photographer with more than fifty years of professional experience. He is the author of numerous books, including The Untold History of the Potato, Africa (the PBS companion volume), Pyramids of Life (with Harvey Croze), and Rise of Life. "the best available book on the history of paleoanthropology." - Tim White, The Browser "The cast of ancient superstars in palaeoanthropologist John Reader's book has grown significantly in the 30 years since the first edition. Neanderthal Man, Lucy and other early hominin fossils are joined by finds from Homo floresiensis to Ardipithecus in a stunningly illustrated update. Powered by enthusiasm and peppered with controversy, the search for human origins is laid out clearly and succinctly." - Nature "This is the second edition of a classic, almost totally new, updated, with a set of spectacular new illustrations of fossils and field workers and digs -- the whole array enough to make you wish you had spent your life as a physical anthropologist -- truly one of the most exciting intellectual adventures imaginable.The book is immensely readable, a fabulous journey for any reader.Get hold of this book and read it." - Dan Agin, Huffington Post "This is a revised, updated version of one of the most popular general surveys of human evolution by a science writer whose photographs of fossils, sites, and scientists have become iconic in the field.Highly recommended." - Choice (Key Words: Missing Link, Human Origins, John Reader, Palaeoanthropology, Evolution, Neanderthal Man, Java Man, Austra. book. Bookseller Inventory # 76328X1

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Book Description Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. This First Edition and first printing hardback was published by OUP in 2011. The book is bound in black-coloured stiff boards with endpapers printed with a colour photograph. Spine titles are in gilt. The book has 538 numbered pages and has circa 70 colour illustrations. The size of the book in inches is 10.0 x 7.1 and it weighs 1.60 kg. As with all our sales of books within the UK, we only ever charge a flat standard delivery cost of £3.35. Bookseller Inventory # 002906

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