Why aren’t we more like other apes? How did we win the evolutionary race? Find out how “wise” Homo sapiens really are.
Prehistory has never been more exciting: New discoveries are overturning long-held theories left and right. Stone tools in Australia date back 65,000 years—a time when, we once thought, the first Sapiens had barely left Africa. DNA sequencing has unearthed a new hominid group—the Denisovans—and confirmed that crossbreeding with them (and Neanderthals) made Homo sapiens who we are today.
A Pocket History of Human Evolution brings us up-to-date on the exploits of all our ancient relatives. Paleoanthropologist Silvana Condemi and science journalist François Savatier consider what accelerated our evolution: Was it tools, our “large” brains, language, empathy, or something else entirely? And why are we the sole survivors among many early bipedal humans? Their conclusions reveal the various ways ancient humans live on today—from gossip as modern “grooming” to our gendered division of labor—and what the future might hold for our strange and unique species.