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The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs…
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The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction (original 2015; udgave 2015)

af Pat Shipman (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
716299,593 (4.18)Ingen
Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe-descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question, why did modern humans survive while their evolutionary cousins went extinct? The Invaders musters compelling evidence to show that the major factor in the Neanderthals' demise was direct competition with newly arriving humans. Drawing on insights from the field of invasion biology, Pat Shipman traces the devastating impact of a growing human population, reduction of Neanderthals' geographic range, isolation into small groups, and loss of genetic diversity. But modern humans were not the only invaders who competed with Neanderthals for big game. Shipman reveals fascinating confirmation of humans' partnership with the first domesticated wolf-dogs soon after Neanderthals first began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, she hypothesizes, made possible an unprecedented degree of success in hunting large Ice Age mammals-a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for humans over Neanderthals at a time when climate change made both groups vulnerable.… (mere)
Medlem:ShelleyAlberta
Titel:The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction
Forfattere:Pat Shipman (Forfatter)
Info:Harvard University Press (2015), 283 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction af Pat Shipman (2015)

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Was the Pleistocene extinction of megafauna due to overhunting or climate change? Are the current theories of Neanderthal extinction valid? The author proposes the arrival of homo sapiens into Eurasia and their subsequent domesticating of wolves led to both. As author Pat Shipman states; man is an invasive species so when an apex predator arrives in a new area, the first item of business is eradication of the existing apex predator; wolves. The domestication of wolves with their transformation into proto dog hunting companions enabled homo sapiens to outhunt Neanderthals. It is a paradigm shift from the usual theories of Neanderthal decline so makes for interesting reading. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Aug 24, 2021 |
This book investigates the circumstances and possible causes for the Neanderthal extinction. The author starts out by establishing the science behind how we know the difference between Neanderthals and modern humans, ways to indicate timelines and chronology, and climate and ecology near the sites where ancient bones are found. They also provide evidence of how the two species hunted and what they ate. It is not until the final third of the book that the topic of humans and wolf-dogs working together was focused on.

The author does not claim to know all of the answers, but does pose some conclusions based on the evidence available. There was a number of extinctions of carnivorous animals about 40,000 years ago. While there was a period of climate change that exacerbated the extinctions, the author does not think this can fully explain them. Shipman states, “I argue that the technical advance that made humans so irresistible and so invasive – from 50,000 years ago until today – was in part their ability to form this unprecedented alliance with another species that we call domestication” (p. 228).

The author lays out reasons that modern humans survived while Neanderthals did not. Humans competed with Neanderthals and succeeded through the use of wolf-dogs to help them hunt in a time of climate change. “We have developed some extraordinary ways of fulfilling those needs, by using language, tools in the broadest sense, and alliances both within and without our species” (p. 230).

While the books was a bit dry and technical at times, it also felt necessary. The concepts are not easy and a strong reliance on scientific analysis shows that the author is authoritative and credible.
1 stem Carlie | Jul 28, 2021 |
DISCLAIMER:
I do not have a good relationship with audiobook - I tend to wool gather or fall asleep while listening to them. So I might have missed something and couldn't flip back to check.
____________________________

REVIEW:

This book is something of a detective/mystery novel where the author tries to find out why the Neanderthals went extinct. Her hypothesis makes use of ecological theory to suggest that modern humans have the same effect on the environment as any other invasive species competing with native animals for the same/similar resources - thus Neanderthals and other megafauna could have survived the cold climate at the time but could not survive the climate and the additional competition with modern humans and their pet wolves/dogs. The changing climate, changing food sources, other animals in the area, generic invasive species and their effects, hunting techniques, the arrival of modern humans, competition for the same/similar resources, as well as the domestication of wolves/dogs is discussed. The title of the book doesn't really fit with Shipman's hypothesis though, as according to the text, Neanderthals were already on their way out before homo sapiens (aka modern humans) migrated into Eurasia and the semi-domesticated wolf-dogs only arrived (according to available fossil evidence) after the Neanderthals were gone. The dogs only make an appearance about 3/4 through the book, if anyone is looking specifically for that information.

I'm not entirely convinced by her argument. The timing is a bit erratic, with Neanderthal populations declining before modern humans arrived and a large time gap between Neanderthals and domesticated wolves. She also doesn't take into account that dogs were domesticated from an extinct species of wolf that might not have behaved in the same way as the Grey wolves used in her study (she generally ignored all the other canid species and their interactions with humans). The author admits that there isn't enough evidence currently to say whether her hypothesis is correct or not, and that new advances in dating and additional fossil sites are required to either prove/disprove her hypothesis. Shipman's hypothesis of why modern humans domesticated wolves/dogs and Neanderthals didn't, is fairly interesting and new information seems to provide some confirming evidence. There is also some issue with her stating that Neanderthals ate only meat and didn't change their diet (especially in comparison with brown bear diet changes), when other studies state that some Neanderthals ate meat, others a mix, and some others ate mostly vegetables and thus changed their diet. There is also no mention of Denisovians (probably due to lack of evidence at time of publication). The DNA data on Neanderthal-Modern Human hybridization/interbreeding is also out of date. This makes me wonder what else is out of date and how that effects the hypothesis.

Pat Shipman helpfully makes a point of differentiating between speculation and inferences from hard, empirical evidence. There is a lot of space dedicated to dating of specific finds and analysis of particular fossil evidence. She does however, tend to repeat herself too often and harp on the same theme far too much (I got that humans are an invasive species after the first paragraph, I didn't need a whole chapter on the subject and several reminders throughout the book).

An interesting, but flawed, book.

NOTE ON AUDIOBOOK: Postel has a pleasant voice, narrates well and at a decent speed.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/05/humanitys-best-friend-how...

https://phys.org/news/2019-06-evolution-puppy-dog-eyes.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/03/08/519048010/some-neanderthals-were...



( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
How modern humans and their dogs drove out the Neanderthals ( )
  JackSweeney | Jan 9, 2017 |
Quasi technical but otherwise an easy read. Excellent presentation of a theory of the domestication of the first animal, the wolf, by modern humans (us), and the extinction of Neanderthals. ( )
  4bonasa | Nov 18, 2015 |
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Wikipedia på engelsk (2)

Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe-descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question, why did modern humans survive while their evolutionary cousins went extinct? The Invaders musters compelling evidence to show that the major factor in the Neanderthals' demise was direct competition with newly arriving humans. Drawing on insights from the field of invasion biology, Pat Shipman traces the devastating impact of a growing human population, reduction of Neanderthals' geographic range, isolation into small groups, and loss of genetic diversity. But modern humans were not the only invaders who competed with Neanderthals for big game. Shipman reveals fascinating confirmation of humans' partnership with the first domesticated wolf-dogs soon after Neanderthals first began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, she hypothesizes, made possible an unprecedented degree of success in hunting large Ice Age mammals-a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for humans over Neanderthals at a time when climate change made both groups vulnerable.

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