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Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind download epub

by Donald C. Johanson


Epub Book: 1981 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1112 kb.

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In his book, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind (Touchstone Simon & Schuster 1990) Johanson and his co-author, Maitland Edey tell the fascinating tale of how they found Lucy, the most complete skeleton ever uncovered of an Australopithecene, the genus that immediately preceded Homo. Johanson got an idea, followed it despite adversity, disbelievers, money problems and set-backs.

Lucy the Beginning of Humankind. As a reader who has a sparse knowledge of anthropology, I can say this book was a pleasurable and informative read. Johanson divided the book into a prologue and five parts. by Donald C. Johanson. The prologue describes the events of November 30, 1974, the day Lucy was discovered. The first part covers a brief background to the earliest fossil finds and is invaluable to any reader who is interested in who's who among some of the earliest scientists working on human origins.

Johanson, Donald; Maitland Edey (1981). Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind. Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University. Donald C. Johanson, P. Biography and Interview". American Academy of Achievement. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Praise for Donald C. The science manages to be as exciting and spellbinding as the juiciest gossip. San Francisco Chronicle. A riveting real-life saga of scientific detection.

When Donald Johanson found a partical skeleton, approximately . million years old, in a remote . million years old, in a remote region of Ethiopia in 1974, a headline-making controversy was launched that continues on today.

It was here that he found Lucy, the most complete skeleton of a hominid ever discovered, a t tall, small-brained female who could walk erect upwards of three-and-a-half million years ago. She is hominid, but no. . She is hominid, but not Homo, and in a field notorious for war between lumpers and splitters, Johanson and colleague Tim White agree to call her Australopithecus afarensis, a species ancestral to both the later australopithecines and to Homo.

When Donald Johanson found a partial skeleton, approximately 3.5 million years old, in a remote region of Ethiopia in 1974, a headline-making controversy was launched that continues on today, Bursting with all the suspense and intrigue of a fast-paced adventure novel, here is Johanson's lively account of the extraordinary discovery of "Lucy" - the oldest, best-preserved skeleton of any erect-walking human ancestor ever found. By expounding the controversial change Lucy makes in our view of human origins, Johanson provides a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of the history of paleoanthropology and the colorful, eccentric characters who were and are a part of it. Never before have the mystery and intricacy of our origins been so clearly and compellingly explained as in this astonishing and dramatic book.

Comments: (7)

Burisi
I first read this book in the 70s and fell madly in love with Lucy. The progress from the jungles to the savannahs, from living in trees to walking upright, made the discovery of Lucy was one of the most important finds in human history. I wanted to be an anthropologist. I still do.
Ynneig
I read this book when I was writing a paleo-historic drama of the life of earliest man. My characters were Homo habilines, but they cohabited Africa with Australopithecines, so to understand the co-stars of my story, I turned to the man who has become the guru of earliest man: Donald Johanson and his amazing find, Lucy.

In his book, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind (Touchstone Simon & Schuster 1990) Johanson and his co-author, Maitland Edey tell the fascinating tale of how they found Lucy, the most complete skeleton ever uncovered of an Australopithecene, the genus that immediately preceded Homo. Prior to this find, he was pretty much an unknown, toiling with many other paleoanthropologists in search of man's roots, maybe the now defunct 'missing link'. Johanson got an idea, followed it despite adversity, disbelievers, money problems and set-backs. These, he chronicles in the book, sharing every step of his journey with an easy-going writing style, breaking down the complicated science to an amateur's understanding and sharing his innermost thoughts on his discovery and how it changed then-current thinking on man's evolution. I learned not only about Lucy, but how paleoanthropologists do their field work, what their days are like, how they fight to prepare for an expedition, and the politics they must solve both to get there and get back. Johanson also includes well-written descriptions on the background of human evolution, field work in East Africa, the paleo-historic geology of Olduvai Gorge (the famed location where Leakey uncovered so much of our primeval roots), the discussion among scientists that pinned down the human-ness of the genus Homo and what differentiated it from older genus like Australopithecines (Lucy's genus), other animals Lucy likely lived with and survived despite of, how Lucy's age was definitively dated, and more.

Johanson jumps right in with the Prologue, telling us how Lucy came to be discovered, and then takes us back to the story of how he got there and what happened after. Through Lucy's story, we learn about man's beginnings and who that earliest forebear was. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

She had lain silently in her adamantine grave for millennium after millennium until the rains at Hadar had brought her to light again
Bands of Homo erectus would wait in the valleys between the hills for the big game herds that migrated south for the winter. They drove the game into swamps by setting grass fires.
Big men have big brains, but they are no smarter than small men. Men are also larger than women and have consistently larger brains, but the two sexes are of equal intelligence
Desert people the world over shun wadis or defiles as campsites
The ash became wet and, almost like a newly laid cement sidewalk, began taking clear impressions of everything that walked across it
You don't gradually go from being a quadruped to being a biped. What would the intermediate stage be--a triped? I've never seen one of these.
You might not think that erect walking has anything to do with sex, but it has, it has
If one is to jump and snatch, one had better be able to judge distances accurately.
The way to precise distance judgment is via binocular vision: focusing two eyes on an object to provide depth perception
The chimpanzee...is the most adaptable of the apes.
A hen is an egg's way of getting another egg.

For some truly beautiful and realistic drawings of man's predecessors, check out Jay Matternes.
Mr.mclav
Written like a novel, it is a one stop shop for this discovery.
Nikok
Cant wait to read it!
Joni_Dep
I am reading this book 35 years after its publication date, which makes it...and me behind the times. So, a few things may have changes in the field of paleoanthropology since then, but it is probably pretty accurate. It is not easy to take a pot ntially complcated discussion like this and reduce it to layman level, but the author has succeeded. If you have any interest in the prehuman creatures from whom we may have descended, this is an excellent read. Some will, for religious reasons, object to the entire subject, and the book does not waste much time dealing with a defense of evolution. Nonetheless, such a defense is mounted anyway by the shear application of scientific reasoning, and the hesitation to draw conclusions until much evidence had been obtained.
Lightseeker
A great deal!
Fenrikasa
Got me started in my interest in Archeology
Lucy is a fossil that tells clarifies much about our evolutionary history. It is indispensable in this regard, but it also tells about the expedition that discovered Lucy, and it's a fascinating story. It even tells how she got her name.
Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind download epub
Biological Sciences
Author: Donald C. Johanson
ISBN: 0446385263
Category: Science & Math
Subcategory: Biological Sciences
Language: English
Publisher: Warner Books (September 30, 1986)