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The First Human - The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors-logo

The First Human - The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors

Ann Gibbons

This dynamic chronicle of the race to find the "missing links" between humans and apes transports readers into the highly competitive world of fossil hunting and into the lives of the ambitious scientists intent on pinpointing the dawn of humankind. The quest to find where and when the earliest human ancestors first appeared is one of the most exciting and challenging of all scientific pursuits. The First Human is the story of four international teams obsessed with solving the mystery of human evolution and of the intense rivalries that propel them. An award-winning science writer, Ann Gibbons introduces the various maverick fossil hunters and describes their most significant discoveries in Africa. There is Tim White, the irreverent and brilliant Californian whose team discovered the partial skeleton of a primate that lived more than 4.4 million years ago in Ethiopia. If White can prove that it was hominid-an ancestor of humans and not of chimpanzees or other great apes-he can lay claim to discovering the oldest known member of the human family. As White painstakingly prepares the bones, the French paleontologist Michel Brunet comes forth with another, even more startling find. Well known for his work in the most remote and hostile locations, Brunet and his team uncover a stunning skull in Chad that could set the date of the beginnings of humankind to almost seven million years ago. Two other groups-one led by the zoologist Meave Leakey, the other by the British geologist Martin Pickford and his partner, Brigitte Senut, a French paleontologist-enter the race with landmark discoveries of other fossils vying for the status of the first human ancestor. Through scrupulous research and vivid first-person reporting, The First Human takes readers behind the scenes to reveal the intense challenges of fossil hunting on a grand competitive scale.

This dynamic chronicle of the race to find the "missing links" between humans and apes transports readers into the highly competitive world of fossil hunting and into the lives of the ambitious scientists intent on pinpointing the dawn of humankind. The quest to find where and when the earliest human ancestors first appeared is one of the most exciting and challenging of all scientific pursuits. The First Human is the story of four international teams obsessed with solving the mystery of human evolution and of the intense rivalries that propel them. An award-winning science writer, Ann Gibbons introduces the various maverick fossil hunters and describes their most significant discoveries in Africa. There is Tim White, the irreverent and brilliant Californian whose team discovered the partial skeleton of a primate that lived more than 4.4 million years ago in Ethiopia. If White can prove that it was hominid-an ancestor of humans and not of chimpanzees or other great apes-he can lay claim to discovering the oldest known member of the human family. As White painstakingly prepares the bones, the French paleontologist Michel Brunet comes forth with another, even more startling find. Well known for his work in the most remote and hostile locations, Brunet and his team uncover a stunning skull in Chad that could set the date of the beginnings of humankind to almost seven million years ago. Two other groups-one led by the zoologist Meave Leakey, the other by the British geologist Martin Pickford and his partner, Brigitte Senut, a French paleontologist-enter the race with landmark discoveries of other fossils vying for the status of the first human ancestor. Through scrupulous research and vivid first-person reporting, The First Human takes readers behind the scenes to reveal the intense challenges of fossil hunting on a grand competitive scale.
More Information

Description:

This dynamic chronicle of the race to find the "missing links" between humans and apes transports readers into the highly competitive world of fossil hunting and into the lives of the ambitious scientists intent on pinpointing the dawn of humankind. The quest to find where and when the earliest human ancestors first appeared is one of the most exciting and challenging of all scientific pursuits. The First Human is the story of four international teams obsessed with solving the mystery of human evolution and of the intense rivalries that propel them. An award-winning science writer, Ann Gibbons introduces the various maverick fossil hunters and describes their most significant discoveries in Africa. There is Tim White, the irreverent and brilliant Californian whose team discovered the partial skeleton of a primate that lived more than 4.4 million years ago in Ethiopia. If White can prove that it was hominid-an ancestor of humans and not of chimpanzees or other great apes-he can lay claim to discovering the oldest known member of the human family. As White painstakingly prepares the bones, the French paleontologist Michel Brunet comes forth with another, even more startling find. Well known for his work in the most remote and hostile locations, Brunet and his team uncover a stunning skull in Chad that could set the date of the beginnings of humankind to almost seven million years ago. Two other groups-one led by the zoologist Meave Leakey, the other by the British geologist Martin Pickford and his partner, Brigitte Senut, a French paleontologist-enter the race with landmark discoveries of other fossils vying for the status of the first human ancestor. Through scrupulous research and vivid first-person reporting, The First Human takes readers behind the scenes to reveal the intense challenges of fossil hunting on a grand competitive scale.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Renée Raudman

Length:

9h 54m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

56:04


Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1

57:19


Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 2

33:05


Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 3

27:33


Part 1, Chapter 4
Part 1, Chapter 4

21:51


Part 1, Chapter 5
Part 1, Chapter 5

24:07


Part 1, Chapter 6
Part 1, Chapter 6

25:48


Part 1, Chapter 7
Part 1, Chapter 7

47:45


Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 8

26:15


Part 2, Chapter 9
Part 2, Chapter 9

20:32


Part 2, Chapter 10
Part 2, Chapter 10

43:22


Part 2, Chapter 11
Part 2, Chapter 11

32:44


Part 2, Chapter 12
Part 2, Chapter 12

35:00


Part 2, Chapter 13
Part 2, Chapter 13

29:21


Part 2, Chapter 14
Part 2, Chapter 14

34:48


Part 2, Chapter 15
Part 2, Chapter 15

34:09


Part 3, Chapter 16
Part 3, Chapter 16

26:38


Part 3, Chapter 17
Part 3, Chapter 17

17:34


Part 3, Chapter 18
Part 3, Chapter 18

00:21