Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived

Last Ape Standing The Seven Million Year Story of How and Why We Survived Over the past years scientists have discovered evidence that at least twenty seven species of humans evolved on planet Earth These weren t simply variations on apes but upright walking humans who

  • Title: Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived
  • Author: Chip Walter
  • ISBN: 9780802717566
  • Page: 124
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Over the past 150 years scientists have discovered evidence that at least twenty seven species of humans evolved on planet Earth These weren t simply variations on apes, but upright walking humans who lived side by side, competing, cooperating, sometimes even mating with our direct ancestors Why did the line of ancient humans who eventually evolved into us survive when tOver the past 150 years scientists have discovered evidence that at least twenty seven species of humans evolved on planet Earth These weren t simply variations on apes, but upright walking humans who lived side by side, competing, cooperating, sometimes even mating with our direct ancestors Why did the line of ancient humans who eventually evolved into us survive when the others were shown the evolutionary door Chip Walter draws on new scientific discoveries to tell the fascinating tale of how our survival was linked to our ancestors being born prematurely than others, having uniquely long and rich childhoods, evolving a new kind of mind that made us resourceful and emotionally complex how our highly social nature increased our odds of survival and why we became self aware in ways that no other animal seems to be Last Ape Standing also profiles the mysterious others who evolved with us the Neanderthals of Europe, the Hobbits of Indonesia, the Denisovans of Siberia and the just discovered Red Deer Cave people of China who died off a mere eleven thousand years ago Last Ape Standing is evocative science writing at its best a witty, engaging and accessible story that explores the evolutionary events that molded us into the remarkably unique creatures we are an investigation of why we do, feel, and think the things we do as a species, and as people good and bad, ingenious and cunning, heroic and conflicted.

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      Published :2019-01-03T00:17:41+00:00

    1 thought on “Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived”

    1. There is evidence that over twenty different human or near-human species have lived in the past seven million years. They did not all live sequentially; many lived at the same time, and probably interacted from time to time. Some species may have killed off others, while perhaps they inter-bred on occasion. (How do two different species interbreed? That is not clear to me.) In the end, only homo sapiens survived. This is the story of how and why our species survived. It wasn't a fore-ordained re [...]

    2. I have mixed feelings about this book.I teach Evolutionary Psychology, so when I read popular books on evolution, I'm either looking (1) to learn new stuff about my favorite topic, or (2) for something accessible and easy for my students to read. I picked up this book for the first reason. The implications of Homo sapiens' coexistence with other hominins (e.g Neanderthals, Denisovans) has grabbed hold of me recently, and this book appeared to be entirely about that topic. While it does address i [...]

    3. Yes, it has more flaws than some would say a 4 star non-fiction science field read would warrant. Although as I read I did waver. And at one point was considering a 2 because of some aspects in the writing style. But in the end, I decided that it is well worth the read and informative to a 4 star level. And especially for those with no real compass to the direction these inquiries have so far accomplished. Yes, he does make rather "out of place" simile and analogy wording that attempts to be fun [...]

    4. This book is one of the best that I have read that has focused solely on human evolution. This author takes a specific focus on why we have survived while other humans have not and does not wander into arguments for evolution or much description about how it takes place. As a result, I would not recommend this book for someone who is unfamiliar with evolution, but, rather for the reader that has some familiarity with the process. For instance, this would make an excellent introductory volume in [...]

    5. Why did home sapiens survive and other closely related species such as Neanderthals and Denisovans become extinct? Chip Walters takes up the question and provides alternative theories of what could have happened based on contemporary archeological evidence. The writing style is lively and non-scholarly in a good way, at times bordering on the irreverent. Walters' descriptions of Neanderthals and how they lived are fascinating. It appears that Homo sapiens not only lived in the same vicinity at t [...]

    6. Last Ape Standing (LAS) was a bit of a letdown for me. I was expecting it to fill gaps in what I knew of the human evolutionary tree, but it turned out to be pop-sci and it's subtitle was very misleading. I think I should've read up more on Chip Walter before picking this book upS moves very quickly from our last common ancestor with the chimps to very recent hominins like Homo rudolfensis and Homo ergaster. Therefore the seven million year journey is almost halfway done in the first few pages i [...]

    7. *Note* I received an advanced readers' copy of this book as part of the First Reads program.I first encountered Paleolithic humans and Neanderthals in 7th grade, in the pages of Jean Auel's 1980 novel The Clan of the Cave Bear, a sexy (and often not so sexy) portrayal of a time period in which fiction, as far as we knew then, was about as accurate a depiction as the scant archaeological tracings we'd unearthed. (I'll have to go back and read it again to see how her view of cave-people stacks to [...]

    8. The bulk of this book was a solid 5 stars, but there were several sections that were so complex and almost textbook-y that by the end I was just toughing it out. This isn't a particularly long book, but it is incredibly dense, and so despite Walker's friendly, "science-light" writing style it just took me forever to get through - although that's probably more a reflection on myself and my own mental limitations than a criticism of Walker.When he was discussing the development, expansion, interac [...]

    9. First off I should say that I found this book quite interesting. Even though I was somewhat less interested in the evolution considerations and much more interested in the paleoanthropology, still, it was a pretty fascinating read and definitely gave me a slightly different lens through which to peer at my modern existance. I did, however, have a bit of a hard time following the "family tree" and how each human species connected to others and whether their territory overlapped, how they migrated [...]

    10. Last Ape Standing is the story of us, homo sapiens, and how we survived against all odds, why we, of all the hominoids who stood up on their own two feet and walked out of the trees and onto the African savannah, became the last ape standing. According to author Chip Walter, this outcome was never assured. In fact, many of the things that came together to make us, well, us could also have led us to the same end as all of the other hominoids who walked this planet - 27 at last count, four of whic [...]

    11. I just finished reading Last Ape Standing by William "Chip" Walter and found it to be a fascinating, if tentative, story of the rise of Homo Sapiens to the top a field of some twenty-seven contenders for the crown of "most intelligent species on Earth". As the author freely admits, the number twenty-seven was more or less picked at random, as there is no telling what new fossil evidence will emerge in the near to distant future. Nevertheless, as the author points out, this has been a fascinating [...]

    12. When I went to college many years ago I minored in anthropology so we got a lot of information on ancient humans. This book shows how much the body of knowledge has changed, while revealing how often scientists claim something is true while they're actually just making it up as they go along. It also shows off many other things I really find distasteful about science and our modern culture now. The tone of the book is naturally overtly humanist, with us being the top of evolution and the best th [...]

    13. Rating 4* out of 5. This despite the fact that I was chocked to find a typo in the "author's note" right at the beginning of book. It didn't exactly promise great things to come. I was mistaken. The rest of the book was lucid and readable. I didn't find any more typos. I learned a few things that I've missed before. I wasn't aware that we shared the world with several other species of human in the early days. Nor that there were many parallel species of two-legged creatures on the prehistoric sa [...]

    14. 3-. I had started this once a year or two ago and aborted after just a few chapters because the first part of the book was dull and repetitious. Read again for the book group.There are some interesting ideas in the book that might lead to good discussion in our group, but there are enough flaws that I might have thrown in the towel again if I were on my own.Some of the writing style is quite enjoyable and expresses his thoughts beautifully, but this is balanced by too many mechanical errors, eve [...]

    15. This was an interesting overview of what might have made Homo Sapiens different from the Neanderthals an Denovisians and other branches that did not survive. I enjoyed reading about some of the more recent findings on Neanderthals. I will caution, this book is not for someone unfamiliar with the subject.I enjoyed reading about the concept of neoteny, something I've not heard of before. Overall it stayed away from a lot of the sexist assumptions of evolutionary psychology. Granted, when discussin [...]

    16. This was a tough one to rate. I would have liked to have given it another star but I didn't because sometimes he goes off on tangents that I felt were either not germane or were "unscientific" and by that I mean he quotes paleoantropology hypotheses for which there is no way to test. So for me they were just conjecture.On the other hand there were some great parts of the book, such as summarizing the latest findings on the various branches of the human family tree, and his projections about how [...]

    17. Anything written about the pre-history of our species has the potential to be dry, but not so in this case. Last Ape Standing is well written and includes enough new information to keep things interesting. There was also a real effort to connect major events of our ancient ancestors with modern times.Much of the book explores the factors involved in the evolution of larger brains found in Homo sapiens. One of our greatest advantages (and weaknesses) was the extended timeframe for child developme [...]

    18. Prior to reading this very up to date book about human evolution, I had heard about The Max Planck Institute's completion of the Neanderthal genome and further research that indicated that most of modern humans share from 1 to 4 percent of Neaderthal DNA. That group of ancient humans are now extinct, but part of their DNA live on i modern Homo Sapiens. What a mind boggling and wonderful idea that is! I had heard about very recent discovery of the Denisovan people' but had never heard of the Red [...]

    19. Very enjoyable description of the various -- currently 27 -- different "human" species discovered so far. How they are similar, how they differ, how they are reflected in modern humans. I did notice occasionally a lack of supporting evidence for his descriptions of various traits in other species, but I'm not sure I would have noticed if it hadn't been previously mentioned by others. But it didn't bother me. I think a work like this must be speculative to a certain extent, because there is so li [...]

    20. This is the story of human evolution from bipedal walking to bicameral consciousness. Chip Walter is a fantastically creative writer and thinker who really knows how to bring this subject to life. The book is wonderfully tangential and ambitious and ends with no less than a treatise on meta-consciousness and self as symbolic construct.What begins as a cool little story of human origins, ends as an introduction to evolutionary psychology. It's not what I expected, but it makes sense in retrospect [...]

    21. Last Ape Standing is a delightful, fascinating read – it’s written for those of us who love science but are not scientists. It’s the story of what is known about how Homo Sapiens came to be the last surviving standing ape (human) species. He looks at the fossil history, environmental conditions on earth, and some of the things that make us different from the other species that did not make it. He includes thinking by leading paleoanthropologists, philosophers, and others who tell us about [...]

    22. The subject is fascinating, the research impressive, but the author's approach made it, for me, almost unreadable. The book had a loose, sloppy feel. It was filled with unnecessary and frequently silly metaphors and similes. ("Like an Olympian god, the continent's changing climate was forcing the emergence of multiple kinds of humans." "If you compare us with other animals, our ability to create symbols turns out to be a kind of superpower, like being able to fly or peer through rock with X-ray [...]

    23. This is an excellent book that brings together the current information on how Homo sapiens became the only surviving member of our bushy family tree. It covers areas such as the development of bipedalism, extended childhood, and cooperative behavior, as well as language and consciousness. I keep up to date on the latest headlines regarding human evolution but I appreciated this book for giving a more in-depth and cohesive look at this ever-changing field.Having a background in the science, I had [...]

    24. The rise of humans is fascinating how one species came to populate the planet in such a domineering way. Walter chronicles this an quick and easy to read manner. Starting with numerous human type species by the time homo sapiens arrived on the scene there were very few left and 20,000 years ago with the end of the Neanderthal, we are the only ones left. The question Walter seeks to answer is Why?He looks at numerous means of survival and points out how they contribute to our success. Increased [...]

    25. I love paleoanthropology, and new discoveries are always being made, so I was eager to read this 2013 book on the subject. I was disappointed, however. It contains little I didn't already know from documentaries I'd seen on cable, and the gushing, breathless tone of the writing got old pretty fast. I found myself skimming over passages of puffed up prose that contained little substance, either in terms of facts or ideas. There were also a couple of spots that struck me as not quite accurate. For [...]

    26. Last Ape Standing took an incredibly fascinating (but rather confusing) topic - human evolution - and made it quite approachable to the armchair anthropologist. It went into a good amount of detail and did a great job of making sure that the reader could follow along on what is our very real history.The only sad thing is how much is shrouded in mystery, and how much out there we'll never know. But Chip Walter does try to make it clear that we still know a remarkable amount, and how it all fits t [...]

    27. This was an excellent book that deftly integrated the various paleanthropological/fossil record discoveries and genetic research over the last 100 years that have helped to shape the picture of human origins. In particular the discoveries over the last 10 years have truly shaken things up; our journey from Australopithecus to Homo Sapien isn't nearly as "linear" as I remember being taught in my first anthropology course in the early 90s! I love science - what we can learn from genetic analysis o [...]

    28. Chip Walter has provided insight to him, me and us. I could not wait for the opportunity each day to look into the past of our existence and ponder our future at the same time. I truly have a deeper intellectual understanding of my kind including myself. This has allowed me to to heighten my awareness. My copy of The Last Ape Standing is now in the hands of another eager, interested, evolved homo sapien.

    29. How could our species survive and dominate the planet when so many other intelligent primates went extinct trying? Walter weaves together evidence from paleoanthropology, genomics, neuroscience and other sciences to try to explain our unlikely evolutionary success. Ambitious but, sadly, a bit dry. Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived by Chip Walter.

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