Book Reviews of Lucy's Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor

Lucy's Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor
Lucy's Child The Discovery of a Human Ancestor
Author: Donald Johanson, James Shreeve
ISBN-13: 9780688064921
ISBN-10: 0688064922
Publication Date: 10/1989
Pages: 318
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: William Morrow Co
Book Type: Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Johanson's 1973 discovery in Ethiopia of "Lucy," the fossil of a three-and-a-half-feet-tall primate, helped scientists to redraw the family tree of our hominid ancestry. In this sequel to Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind , the paleoanthropologist records his excavation in 1986, at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, of the first known skeleton of Homo habilis , believed by many to be the first Homo species. From this fossil and other evidence, Johanson concludes that the evolutionary transition to humankind was more sudden and dramatic than was previously assumed. Far from being "killer apes," our early ancestors, he speculates, were clever scavengers who used their brains to adapt to dry seasons on the savanna. Gracefully written with Shreeve ( Nature: The Other Earthlings ) and riddled with the controversies that divide field researchers, this report offers a roll-up-your-sleeves glimpse of how paleontologists find bones and then use them to piece together a picture of human origins. Illustrated. BOMC featured alternate.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Paleontologist Johanson, the discoverer of the famous "Lucy" skeleton--the subject of Johanson & Maitland Edey's Lucy: The Beginning of Mankind ( LJ 2/1/81)--has uncovered a new fossil in Africa's Olduvai Gorge. While just as tiny as the 3.2-million-year-old Lucy, this Homo habilis specimen lived within 200,000 years of the modern-looking Homo erectus. Johanson believes that a rapid spurt in hominid evolution occurred 1.6-1.8 million years ago, and, in this book, written with science writer Shreeve, he suggests ecological and cultural scenarios for this change. He also describes the grittiness of field research and the personality feuds in his field. Only his persecution complex over treatment by the Leakeys wears thin. While not as objective as Delta Wills's The Hominid Gang reviewed in this issue, below.-- Ed. , this also helps sort out the complexities of paleontology for general readers. Recommended. BOMC featured alternate. Previewed in Prepub Alert, 6/15/89-- Beth Clewis, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, Va.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.