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An Emotional Subject

J.Z. Young, 21 April 1983

The Myths of Human Evolution 
by Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall.
Columbia, 197 pp., $22.50, November 1981, 0 231 05144 1
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... for evolutionary change comes from the sequence of fossils in layers of rocks. Eldredge and Tattersall point out that paleontologists may find nearly identical specimens separated by as much as five million years. Indeed some creatures, such as lung fishes, have hardly changed in 200 million years. This conservatism among some types is one of the ...

Flat Feet, Clever Hands

Alison Jolly: Eastern ground apes, 7 October 2004

Lowly Origin: Where, When and Why Our Ancestors First Stood Up 
by Jonathan Kingdon.
Princeton, 396 pp., £22.95, May 2003, 0 691 05086 4
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... backs? Were they, in the wildest theory, aquatic,* standing up to keep their noses above water? Ian Tattersall, of the Natural History Museum in New York, has a simpler story: ancestral great apes were vertical-bodied clamberers in trees; when they came down they had an almost equal chance of becoming quadrupeds or bipeds. The common thread in all of ...

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