From Publishers Weekly
A cave on Gibraltar 28,000 years ago was one of the final homes of the Neanderthals. Finlayson, director of the Gibraltar Museum, uses his knowledge of that cave and others like it to explore the differences and similarities between modern humans and Neanderthals, and how the differences led to our surviving them. Presenting a host of data, he draws a single conclusion: modern humans weren't brighter, stronger or more capable than Neanderthals. Rather, we were luckier. Scattered around Europe, Neanderthals probably succumbed to various factors, from disease to drastic climate change—changes that led to an environment more friendly to Homo sapiens.
Finlayson does a superb job of describing the factors behind the expansion of the genus Homo and its diversification into various species, of which only Homo sapiens
survives today. He also offers a powerful critique of those who theorize differently about the expansion of our species with very little data. Finally, he challenges us to rethink early human migration around the globe, arguing that the pattern we see is simply a modest expansion, generation by generation, as environmental conditions permitted. In his hands the links between climate and evolutionary change are strikingly clear. 5 b&w illus. (Nov.)
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"Great things can arrive in small packages. The Humans Who Went Extinct
is a case in point. Engaging and well written, this volume will be essential reading for anyone interested in human evolution. It is an essential purchase for college and university libraries."--The Quarterly Review of Biology
"Finlayson does a superb job of describing the factors behind the expansion of the genus Homo and its diversification into various species, of which only Homo sapiens
survives today. He also offers a powerful critique of those who theorize differently about the expansion of our species with very little data. In his hands, the links between climate and evolutionary change are stikingly clear."--Publishers Weekly
"A provocative new book." --Newsweek
Listed in Science Book News No. 178, 11/16/09
"Finlayson has written a fascinating new book...electrifying...an apocalyptic vision that puts a chill down one's back. But a book that makes you think remains one of the reasons to get up in the morning. Have a look at this one." --Dan Agin, The Huffington Post
"Here is a provocative work, which will not only teach, but leave readers wanting to learn more." --San Francisco Book Review
"Well written with endnotes from research sources. Recommended."--Choice
"What I like in particular about Finlayson's work is that he contextualises the various stages of the human lineage (although pointing out controversies in the fossil record where they exist) in terms of the climate and immediate environment. I liken this to the approach of a strategist who like an eagle soars high above the visage seeing the overall scheme of things. This is a well-researched book generously referenced, filled with rich biological analogies and an overarching narrative which applies equally to non-human species." --Medpedia.com