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The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction

The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction

Written by Pat Shipman

Narrated by Donna Postel


The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction

Written by Pat Shipman

Narrated by Donna Postel

ratings:
4.5/5 (19 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 19, 2015
ISBN:
9781494583095
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe-descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question, why did modern humans survive while their evolutionary cousins went extinct?

The Invaders musters compelling evidence to show that the major factor in the Neanderthals' demise was direct competition with newly arriving humans. Drawing on insights from the field of invasion biology, Pat Shipman traces the devastating impact of a growing human population: reduction of Neanderthals' geographic range, isolation into small groups, and loss of genetic diversity.

But modern humans were not the only invaders who competed with Neanderthals for big game. Shipman reveals fascinating confirmation of humans' partnership with the first domesticated wolf-dogs soon after Neanderthals first began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, she hypothesizes, made possible an unprecedented degree of success in hunting large Ice Age mammals-a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for humans over Neanderthals at a time when climate change made both groups vulnerable.
Publisher:
Released:
May 19, 2015
ISBN:
9781494583095
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Pat Shipman is the author of eight previous books, including The Man Who Found the Missing Link and Taking Wing, which won the Phi Beta Kappa Prize for science and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and named a New York Times Notable Book for 1998. Her numerous awards and honors include the 1996 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for The Wisdom of the Bones (written with Alan Walker). Her most recent book is To the Heart of the Nile: Lady Florence Baker and the Exploration of Central Africa. She is currently an adjunct professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University and lives in State College, Pennsylvania.


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4.4
19 ratings / 2 Reviews
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  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The Invaders is written by a scientist and he presents his theory how Neanderthals, and many other species, went extinct. The subtitle and beautiful cover art give it away but there is much more to the book. The theory is only described in about the last 15%, most of the book is background information on what and how we know about Neanderthals and humans in Europe in the period in question, from about 50,000bp to 20,000bp. The writing can be technical, but not impossible and is made up for by the writers enthusiasm and deep thinking. I really did feel transported back in time and part of a real scientific debate on the cutting edge.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    excellent presentation of a theory of the domestication of the first animal, the wolf, by modern humans (us), and the extinction of Neanderthals.

    1 person found this helpful