This book presents a detailed account of the morphological features of the primates and, in the process, it provides a clear exposition of the story of human evolution. It discusses the theories of biological evolution, the origin of the primates, the morphology of the living primates, the social behaviour of the nonhuman primates, and the phylogenetic relationship between the large apes and man on the basis of immunological and molecular analyses.
The text focuses on the Miocene hominoids and their role in the subsequent developments of the hominids. It discusses three theories—the Single Lineage Theory, the Double Lineage Theory, and the Triple Lineage Theory—developed through the study of the anatomical features of the australopithecine fossils found mainly in South and East Africa. The text also gives up-to-date information on the recent discoveries of several hominid species.
The emergence of Homo erectus from one of the australopithecines, its cultural attainments, and the gradual transition to modern man are described in the text. The doubts about the phylogenetic lineage of the Neanderthals and the emergence of the early Homo sapiens in the context of human evolution form the basis of various theories regarding the evolution of modern man. These theories are thoroughly examined in the text.
Discusses immunological and molecular approaches to primate phylogeny, and various dating techniques.
Includes a number of figures, flow charts and phylogenetic trees to help readers understand the concepts clearly.
Provides a Glossary of technical terms and contributions of some eminent persons to the subject.
This book is designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Anthropology and Archaeology. Besides, students appearing in competitive examinations will also find the book beneficial.