The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey

The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey : Unearthing the Origins of Monkeys, Apes, and Humans

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Taking us back roughly 45 million years into the Eocene, 'the dawn of recent life', Chris Beard, a world-renowned expert on the primate fossil record, offers a tantalizing new perspective on our deepest evolutionary roots. In a fast-paced narrative full of vivid stories from the field, he reconstructs our extended family tree, showing that the first anthropoids - the diverse and successful group that includes monkeys, apes, and humans - evolved millions of years earlier than was previously suspected and emerged in Asia rather than Africa. In "The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey", Beard chronicles the saga of two centuries of scientific exploration in search of anthropoid origins, from the early work of Georges Cuvier, the father of paleontology, to the latest discoveries in Asia, Africa, and North America's Rocky Mountains. Against this historical backdrop, he weaves the story of how his own expeditions have unearthed crucial fossils - including the controversial primate Eosimias - that support his compelling new vision of anthropoid evolution. The only book written for a wide audience that explores this remote phase of our own evolutionary history, "The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey" adds a fascinating new chapter to our understanding of humanity's relationship to the rest of life on more

Product details

  • Paperback | 364 pages
  • 144.8 x 218.4 x 25.4mm | 589.68g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 14 color illustrations, 26 b/w photographs, 21 line illustrations
  • 0520249860
  • 9780520249868
  • 1,598,181

About Christopher Beard

Chris Beard is Curator and Head, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and winner of a MacArthur "genius" more

Review quote

"An entertaining, erudite, and informative narrative.... Beard parlays his formidable knowledge, experience, and energy into an exciting, thoughtful, integrative, and well-written book." - Glenn C. Conroy, Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, Reviews "Anyone interested in the history of the science of where we evolved from will appreciate and learn from The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey." - Bernard Wood, Geotimes "[A]n absorbing and interesting read. I learned more about the both the early history of the primates and about the often prickly characters that unearthed them, in gruelling desert expeditions, than from any other book I have read." - R. I. M. Dunbar, Times Literary Supplement (tls) "The story of The Hunt for the Dawn Monkey is not only interesting science but also a wonderful tale of perseverance and that essential for palaeontologists: good luck." - Douglas Palmer, New Scientist "Beard is to be applauded for bringing this chapter of our family history to light." - Nina Jablonski, California Wild "Beard's findings tell a startling scientific story." - Publishers Weekly"show more

Table of contents

Preface Chapter One. Missing Links and Dawn Monkeys Chapter Two. Toward Egypt's Sacred Bull Chapter Three. A Gem from the Willwood Chapter Four. The Forest in the Sahara Chapter Five. Received Wisdom Chapter Six. The Birth of a Ghost Lineage Chapter Seven. Initial Hints from Deep Time Chapter Eight. Ghost Busters Chapter Nine. Resurrecting the Ghost Chapter Ten. Into the African Melting Pot Chapter Eleven. Paleoanthropology and Pithecophobia Notes Bibliographyshow more