The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction

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The Invaders author Pat Shipman presents scholarly arguments that modern humans are an invasive species that has changed the fauna, flora, and ecology of Europe—at least—and that modern humans and Neanderthals overlapped a for very short time and there was virtually no interbreeding. To support this premise the author begins with the recalibration of radiocarbon dating that makes the premise viable. She follows with persuasive arguments about carrying capacity, what invasive species do, the predator guild and intra-guild violence, what adaptations allow one species to out-compete another, the importance of diet and physiology in species survival, the archaeological record of domestication of the dog, and the extinction of not only the Neanderthals but also lions, bears, mammoths, and other large mammalian species at the time of the modern human invasion. This is done with clear examples, graphs, state-of-the-art DNA analysis, and relevant examples. Shipman is not afraid to challenge long-standing theories that new evidence refutes. The book is exciting; information and statistical models combine to make sense of the archaeological record with the author as a knowledgeable guide. She is a scientist writing about exciting times in the discipline she obviously enjoys. I recommend this book highly.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Belknap Press
Publish Date 2015-Mar-10
ISBN 9780674736764 Buy this Book
Issue May 2015
Category Science & Nature


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