Human Evolution and Development
Human Evolution and Development
Textbook for Life Sciences
€ 29,99
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15.6 x 23.4 x 1.7 cm
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Preface 1. Our ancestors' story - The revolutionary innovation: walking upright - How old is that fossil? - The human tree of descent - The old hominins - The golden age of ape-men - The first Homos - Towards modern times 2. From egg to human - Heterochrony and Haeckel's law - Cleavages and germ layers - Axes provide direction - Developmental biology's model animals - The molecular tool kit - Limbs need new axes 3. The tinkered body - Tinkering, watchmakers and a Boeing 747 - The naked body - Adaptations to bipedalism in the locomotor apparatus - Gill slits, jaws, the thyroid, and the middle ear - Heart, urogenitals, guts and lungs - Evolution of the brain 4. There's got to be differences - Neutral jumps or stepwise adaptation? - The origin of genetic variation - Equilibrium between allele and genotype frequencies - Neutral evolution - Geographic distance and genetic variation - On top of genetics 5. The past inside the present - Phylogenetic reconstruction - The molecular clock and coalescence analysis - Out of Africa or multiregional evolution? - Migrations in so many directions - Hybridizations between ancient hominins 6. The cultural human - Prehistoric tools and cave art - The Neolithic transition - Evolution of language: early or late? - Group living; kin selection and altruism - Cultural evolution 7. Do humans still evolve? - Quantitative genetics and heritability - Evolution of biomedical traits - Evolution of the human life-cycle - Partner preference and sexual selection - Evolutionary medicine Epilogue Further reading Primary literature Figure acknowledgements Index

Nico van Straalen, Dick Roelofs

Human Evolution and Development

Textbook for Life Sciences

Our understanding of human evolution is proceeding at an unprecedented rate over the last years due to spectacular fossil finds, reconstructions based on genome comparison, ancient DNA sequencing and new insights into developmental genetics. This book takes an integrative approach in which the development of the human embryo, the evolutionary history of our body, the structure of human populations, their dispersal over the world and their cultures are examined by integrating paleoanthropology, developmental biology, comparative zoology, population genetics and phylogenetic reconstruction.

The authors discuss questions like:
- What do we know about ancient humans?
- What happens in the development of an embryo?
- How did we manage to walk upright and why did we lose our hair?
- What is the relationship between language, migration and evolution?
- How does our body respond to the challenges of modern society?

In addition to being a core text for the study of the life sciences, 'Human Evolution and Development' is an easy-to-read overview for the interested layperson.

Nico van Straalen

Nico M. van Straalen is professor of Animal Ecology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and specialises in evolutionary biology.

Dick Roelofs

Dick Roelofs is associate professor of Molecular Ecology and Ecogenomics, also at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

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