The Time Before History

The Time Before History

5 Million Years of Human Impact

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
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

Book News
Long before the EPA required detailed records to be kept, people and proto-people were leaving their mark on the environment. Zoologist and science popularizer Tudge looks at the five million years in the middle of which our earliest recognizable ancestors appeared, describing the glaciers, colliding continents, fascinating creatures, and other factors that shaped human origins and early development. His detailed coverage extends to the beginning of farming, but he also surveys continuing impacts and peers into the next million years. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
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.

Baker
& Taylor

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 predicting future changes. 15,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Scribner, 1996
ISBN: 9780684807263
0684807262
Characteristics: 366 p ; cm

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