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A Companion to Paleoanthropology

David R. Begun (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3116-5
648 pages
March 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Paleoanthropology (1444331167) cover image

A Companion to Paleoanthropology presents a compendium of readings from leading scholars in the field that define our current knowledge of the major discoveries and developments in human origins and human evolution, tracing the fossil record from primate and hominid origins to the dispersal of modern humans across the globe.

  • Represents an accessible state-of-the-art summary of the entire field of paleoanthropology, with an overview of hominid taxonomy
  • Features articles on the key discoveries in ape and human evolution, in cranial, postcranial and brain evolution, growth and development
  • Surveys the breadth of the paleontological record from primate origins to modern humans
  • Highlights the unique methods and techniques of paleoanthropology, including dating and ecological methods, and use of living primate date to reconstruct behavior in fossil apes and humans
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List of Illustrations viii

List of Tables xvi

Notes on Contributors xviii

Acknowledgments xxviii

1 The Past, Present and Future of Paleoanthropology 1
David R. Begun

2 History 17
Matthew R. Goodrum

Part I Background to Paleoanthropology 35

Section 1 Method and Theory 35

3 Human Systematics 37
David S. Strait

4 Experimental Approaches to Musculoskeletal Function in Primates 55
Matthew J. Ravosa, Kimberly A. Congdon, and Rachel A. Menegaz

5 Multivariate Quantitative Methods in Paleoanthropology 75
Michael A. Schillaci and Philipp Gunz

6 Growth, Development, and Life History in Hominin Evolution 97
Jay Kelley and Debra Bolter

Section 2 Anatomical Regions 118

7 Cranial Evolution in the Apes 119
Brian T. Shea

8 Hominid Brain Evolution 136
P. Thomas Schoenemann

9 Hominin Diets 165
Peter S. Ungar and Matt Sponheimer

10 Origin and Evolution of Human Postcranial Anatomy 183
Brian G. Richmond and Kevin G. Hatala

Section 3 Environment and Behavior 203

11 Multiproxy Paleoecology: Reconstructing Evolutionary Context in Paleoanthropology 204
Kaye E. Reed

12 Reconstructing Social Behavior from Fossil Evidence 226
J. Michael Plavcan

13 Geochronology 244
Alan L. Deino

14 The Origins and Evolution of Technology 265
Kathy Schick and Nicholas Toth

Section 4 Genetics and Race 290

15 Genetic Perspectives on Ape and Human Evolution 291
Todd R. Disotell

16 The Genetics of Morphology 306
Richard J. Sherwood and Dana L. Duren

17 Paleoanthropology and Race 321
Milford H. Wolpoff and Rachel Caspari

Part II The Fossil Record 339

Section 5 Paleogene Primates 339

18 Primate Origins 341
Mary T. Silcox

19 Anthropoid Origins 358
K. Christopher Beard

20 Catarrhine Origins 376
Terry Harrison

Section 6 Neogene/Quaternary Hominoids 397

21 The Miocene Hominoid Radiations 398
David R. Begun

22 Before Australopithecus : The Earliest Hominins 417
Scott W. Simpson

23 Australopithecus and Kenyanthropus 434
Ashley S. Hammond and Carol V. Ward

24 Paranthropus 457
Bernard Wood and Kes Schroer

Section 7 The Age of Homo 479

25 Earliest Homo 480
Friedemann Schrenk

26 Homo erectus and Related Taxa 497
Susan C. Antón

27 The Middle Pleistocene Record: On the Ancestry of Neandertals, Modern Humans and Others … 517
Jean-Jacques Hublin

28 Neanderthals 538
Katerina Harvati-Papatheodorou

29 Modern Human Origins 557
Mark Collard and Mana Dembo

30 Homo floresiensis 582
William L. Jungers

Index 599

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David Begun is Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto. A paleoanthropologist with 30 years of experience in the analysis of fossil apes, Begun’s current research focuses on the relationships between European and African fossil and living great apes and the origin of the African apes and humans.  He has published numerous articles and book chapters on that topic, and on the description and analysis of fossils from Europe, Asia, and Africa.
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“A Companion to Paleoanthropology provides a good solution, although the price may be prohibitive for use as a textbook.”  (American Journal of Human Biology, 1 January 2014)

"As the fossil record and paleoanthropology as a whole have become increasingly complex, this volume will serve as a good introduction to the field that will provide structure and context for undergraduates and above. The chapters also provide sufficient depth to be useful to graduate students and faculty as a reference text. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.”  (Choice, 1 August 2013)

“This collection of concise reviews of current research by an All-Star team of authors will be a valuable resource for students of paleoanthropology at all levels."
- John G. Fleagle, Stony Brook University

A Companion to Paleoanthropology brings new ideas to light on human evolution, brilliantly coordinated by David Begun. It provides an unparalleled account of all that is new in palaeoanthropology, and it is essential reading for students, teachers and researchers alike.”
- Peter Andrews, Natural History Museum, London

“This is a wonderful addition to the Companions series: focused but extensive and inclusive, with authoritative chapters by experts combining just the right amount of history and cutting-edge results. Suitable for advanced undergrad and grad-level course readings.”
- Eric Delson, City University of New York

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