The Time Before History: 5 Million Years of Human Impact

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9780684830520: The Time Before History: 5 Million Years of Human Impact
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Chronicles the period in evolution during which human beings progressed from simians to hominids, citing the pivotal roles of climate, ecology, and geological movements while predicitng future changes

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About the Author:

Colin Tudge is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Philosophy of the London School of Economics.

From Publishers Weekly:

With majestic sweep and subtle wit, British science writer Tudge brings an astonishing perspective to the story of humanity by telescoping three intertwined dramas: the past 40,000 years, in which Homo sapiens truly got into its stride, set against the five-million-year history of hominids, set against the 3.5 billion years of life preceding the hominids' arrival. Tudge views primates (lemurs, monkeys, apes, humans) as a "fifth column," creeping up on other creatures over an 80-million-year period, rarely dominating but ultimately producing a lineage that evolved into us. He favors the multi-migration model of the "Out of Africa" hypothesis, which holds that Homo ergaster, not Homo erectus, evolved to produce modern Homo sapiens. Drawing on the latest research, he discusses the five mass extinctions that interrupted life on Earth; the drift of continents; the Tibetan plateau as the planet's principal cooling mechanism; the growth of our "all-purpose" brain and its invention of language. Tudge concludes by scanning the next million years, with emphasis on devising sustainable economies, conserving species and feeding the world's population. His eloquent, immensely rewarding synthesis fosters a new appreciation of the interdependence of our fragile biosphere. BOMC, QPB, History Book Club and Library of Science alternates.
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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this lyrical and engaging exploration, Colin Tudge undertakes an ambitious task: to place the narratives of human and planetary coevolution within the same frame, to expand our perspective on our own history, and to tell the story of the human impact on planet Earth. Our sense of history, the author argues, has become so truncated that it is measured in months and years, occasionally decades, infrequently centuries. The Time Before History is a corrective, a record of the preface to modern life - of the period known as the Plio/Pleistocene, from 5 million years past to the birth of civilization some 10,000 years ago.Tudge paints a broad canvas of our last 5 million years with fascinating descriptions of the waxing and waning of species and populations because of climate changes and plate tectonics, including massive migrations around the planet; the fabulous animals that covered the earth when our ancestors first emerged; the unique and exquisitely destructive characteristics of the first neo-apes, from their ability to exploit the savanna while living safely in the trees to the advantages of the rotating shoulder joint, which permitted missile throwing and thus changed the risk-reward balance of hunting forever.Drawing upon the disciplines of geology, anthropology, archaeology, earth science, and climatology, the Time Before History is the first popular account of this critical period and is a truly original contribution to the intertwined narratives of humanity and its planet. Seller Inventory # AAV9780684830520

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this lyrical and engaging exploration, Colin Tudge undertakes an ambitious task: to place the narratives of human and planetary coevolution within the same frame, to expand our perspective on our own history, and to tell the story of the human impact on planet Earth. Our sense of history, the author argues, has become so truncated that it is measured in months and years, occasionally decades, infrequently centuries. The Time Before History is a corrective, a record of the preface to modern life - of the period known as the Plio/Pleistocene, from 5 million years past to the birth of civilization some 10,000 years ago.Tudge paints a broad canvas of our last 5 million years with fascinating descriptions of the waxing and waning of species and populations because of climate changes and plate tectonics, including massive migrations around the planet; the fabulous animals that covered the earth when our ancestors first emerged; the unique and exquisitely destructive characteristics of the first neo-apes, from their ability to exploit the savanna while living safely in the trees to the advantages of the rotating shoulder joint, which permitted missile throwing and thus changed the risk-reward balance of hunting forever.Drawing upon the disciplines of geology, anthropology, archaeology, earth science, and climatology, the Time Before History is the first popular account of this critical period and is a truly original contribution to the intertwined narratives of humanity and its planet. Seller Inventory # AAV9780684830520

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Book Description Touchstone Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 368 pages. Dimensions: 9.3in. x 6.3in. x 1.2in.Drawing on the findings of geology, anthropology, archaeology and earth science, Colin Tudge discusses in detail and intertwines histories of the planet Earth and the evolution of humankind. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780684830520

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