Whatever mental image you have of our close evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals, it is bound to be incomplete.
Kindred is an ambitious book that takes in the full sweep of 150 years of scientific discovery and covers virtually every facet of their biology and culture. Archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes has drawn on her extensive experience communicating science outside of the narrow confines of academia to write a book that is as accessible as it is informative, and that stands out for its nuance and progressive outlook. Is this a new popular science benchmark?
anthropology, archaeology, evolution, popular science and tagged Africa, anatomy, ancient DNA, animal hides, anthropology, archaeology, art, bears, biogeography, birds, birds of prey, Bloomsbury Publishing, Bloomsbury Sigma, bones, bonobos, book review, brains, burial, cannibalism, cave paintings, caves, charcoal, Charles Darwin, childbirth, chimpanzees, climate change, climate reconstructions, cognition, corvids, culture, death, deer, Denisovans, diet, DNA, emotions, evolution, excavations, extinction, feathers, fire, fish, fishing, food, footprints, fossil record, fossil trackways, fossils, genetics, health, history of science, hominins, horses, human artefacts, human behaviour, human children, human evolution, human ornamentation, hyaenas, ice ages, indigenous knowledge, indigenous people, injuries, interbreeding, interglacials, isotope ratios, isotopes, lithic artefacts, mammals, mammoths, migration, modern humans, molluscs, mortuary practices, Neanderthals, palaeoanthropology, palaeoclimatology, palaeopathology, popular science, prehistory, prey, primates, primatology, reindeer, rituals, seafood, sensory biology, shellfish, shells, skeletons, skulls, stone knapping, stone tools, subsistence hunting, symbolic behaviour, symbols, taphonomy, teeth, tool use, tools, weapons, wood on .
August 27, 2020 1 Comment
Brian Fagan is a celebrated archaeologist and author who has written many books on the topic of environmental history. Several of these sit on my shelves, though I admit this is the first book by his hand that I have read. With
Fishing, Fagan presents a deep history of fishing from the time of our human ancestors up to the present day, highlighting its overlooked role in the history of human civilization. His story spans the globe and pieces together a fragmented and complicated puzzle.
environmental history and tagged ancient history, anthropology, archaeology, book review, civilizations, climate change, coastlines, deep sea, economics, environmental history, fish, fisheries, fishing techniques, food, garum, middens, overfishing, prehistory, sea levels, shellfish, shells, technology, Yale University Press on .
April 5, 2018 9 Comments
Cephalopods, the group of molluscs that include the octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus, are some of the most fascinating invertebrates to live in the world’s seas. Especially the octopus is famed for its intelligence and mind-bending acrobatics, being able to squeeze through the smallest hole. There have been some fantastic popular books on cephalopods recently, from William’s entertaining
to several works focusing on the octopus (Godfrey-Smith’s Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid , Montgomery’s touching Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life , which made me tear up in more than one place, Mather The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration of One of the World’s Most Intriguing Creatures et al.‘s , and Harmon Courage’s Octopus: The Ocean’s Intelligent Invertebrate ). But, as marine biologist Danna Staaf remarks, what’s been missing is a popular book on the evolution of cephalopods. Having been fascinated with them since childhood, she eventually decided to write Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea Squid Empire. All hail the squid!
evolution and tagged acidity, Alvarez, ammonites, Ammonoids, animal behaviour, anoxia, asteroid impact, book review, carbon dioxide, cephalopods, climate change, Coleoids, continental flood basalt, convergent evolution, Cretaceous, cuttlefish, Devonian, evolution, extinction, ForeEdge, fossils, intelligence, invertebrates, Jurassic, large igneous provinces, marine biology, mass extinctions, meteorite impact, Nautiloids, nautilus, Neogene, oceans, octopus, Ordovician, palaeobiology, palaeontology, Paleogene, Pangaea, Permian, shells, Silurian, squid, Triassic, University Press of New England, volcanoes on .
January 18, 2018 2 Comments