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Encyclopedia of human evolution and prehistory. Edited by Ian Tattersall Eric Delson and John Van Couvering. New York and London Garland Publishing. 1988. xxxvi + 603 pp. figures tables. $87

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628
BOOK REVIEWS
natural environments show more informed
feeding procedures in captivity; conversely,
captive situations enable more elaborate
testing of feeding rates, caloric requirements, and nutrient utilization.
Part I11 contains articles on endangered
and little-known species, as well as comprehensive articles on more extensively studied
species. Even in relatively well-known species, there is a need to better understand
how interindividual interactions influence
habitat utilization. A number of papers
emphasize the complex interrelationship
that exists between the way in which a n individual exploits its environment a n d the constraints imposed on that exploitation by the
social and physical surroundings.
Throughout the book a n effort is made to
merge data from captive and feral settings.
Captive environments are becoming increas-
ingly important reservoirs of primate species. Data from feral studies will enable the
construction of captive “microhabitats,”
which are more suitable for long-term maintenance of behavioral and genetic diversity.
Captive studies enable the elucidation of
behaviors that are difficult to observe and/or
explain in the wild.
Although useful to primatologists a s a
reference, this book h a s limited utility as a
text. Except for a few articles, there is not
enough new or comprehensive information
to justify purchase of this book by students.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HUMANEVOLUTION
AND
PREHISTORY.
Edited by Ian Tattersall, Eric
Delson, and John Van Couvering. New
York and London: Garland Publishing.
1988. xxxvi
603 pp., figures, tables.
$87.50 (cloth).
of the fossils. Bibliographic references are
also included for many of the topics and
include some very recent (1987) publications.
A subject list, by topic, is provided at the
beginning of the book, including study fields
and geographic areas; concepts of evolutionary biology, geology, paleontology,
archaeology, and morphology; primate taxa;
fossil localities by age and continent; and
archaeological sites and industries. A detailed listing of each topic is given, with the
subject of each article in the book. If one is
interested in middle Pleistocene fossil localities, for example, the list refers the reader to
40 articles, each detailing a particular site of
that age. If, instead, one is interested in fossil and archaeological localities on a specific
continent, the lists provide the names of all
of those described in the body of the work,
including subdivisions referring to regions.
Under the heading of Asia, for example,
each site is listed alphabetically and again
within a region: China, India, Indonesia,
Near East, and so on.
There also are lists of topics in more
general areas: the basic concepts a n d
terminology of evolutionary biology (including behavioral biology, genetics, numerical
approaches, and systematics), primate taxonomy, geology, paleontology, and chronology, Biographical entries are given for 50
+
The intent of this volume is to provide a
comprehensive account of current knowledge in the fields of human evolution and
prehistory. The 3 editors and 38 contributors
have brought together a large body of knowledge and interpretation that h a s not been
available before in one source. Given the
amount of information to sort through, this
in itself is a remarkable achievement. Even
more remarkable is the organization of the
book: it is easy to use. The body of the work
contains over 1,200topic headings, arranged
alphabetically, with cross-references to related topics covered in separate articles.
These lead the reader to a more complete
understanding of the subject in question.
The article on a given fossil hominid, for
example, will direct the reader to a larger
taxon, the locales in which representatives
have been found, the epoch to which the
finds have been dated, associated cultural
materials, and, often, prominent excavators
and interpreters of the phylogenetic status
FRANK
E. POIRIER
LORI K. SHEERAN
Department of Anthropology
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
BOOK REVIEWS
629
people whom the editors consider to be
important to the history of the study of
human evolution.
The main body of the work is remarkably
complete. While all subjects are not covered
to the same depth, there are no great gaps in
the coverage, nor are many topics slighted.
Each article is signed by its author, and the
editors have done a fine job of maintaining
a consistent tone throughout the encyclopedia. The drawings and photographs are
also consistently clear and precise, although
scales are not always included. There are
especially good descriptions of the geological and ecological milieus in which the various fossils have been found, and the explanations of glaciation and chronometrics are
coherent and easy to follow. The contributors to the encyclopedia have included both
sides of many of the controversial topics
covered in the book: the age of Meadowcroft
Rockshelter, for instance, or the phylogenetic status of Meganthropus and the Neanderthals. There is even a list of suspected
perpetrators of the Piltdown hoax.
Overall, the Encyclopedia is a n excellent
reference book, especially useful to those of
us without access to a good professional
library. The entries are uniformly well written, concise, and informative. This book is
recommended for inclusion especially in the
libraries of smaller colleges.
There are few critical points to make
about such a well-done work; there is no
entry for the early Paleolithic sites of Terra
Amata and St. Acheul, for example, and
Australopithecus aethiopicus is added to the
splitter’s paradise of Plio-Pleistocene hominids. The authors are also proposing to change
the designation of Aegyptopithecus zeuxis to
Propliopithecus zeuxis, a n alteration not as
yet widely accepted. The biographical articles
are well written but should have included a
number of other significant contributors to
the study of human evolution and prehistory.
Other than these few minor points, I have
no reservations about this volume. As a
reference work, it is excellent. Remarkably,
it is easy to use.
FOSSILS,
TEETHAND SEX. By Charles E.
Oxnard. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1987. xiv
281 pp., figures,
tables, references, index. $35.00 (cloth).
connection, but the anatomy of that connection necessarily remains unknown.
Oxnard finds that human dentition shows
little sexual size dimorphism, metric dispersions are equal in both sexes, and males and
females occur in equal numbers. African
apes show considerable size dimorphism,
unequal dispersion (males usually having
greater variation), and a n unequal representation (females far outnumbering males). He
finds the human condition throughout genus
Homo, including “habilis,” and in the 8million-year-old “Ramapithecus” from Lufeng, China. Even Gigantopithecus, with its
great size dimorphism, shows the human
traits of equal dispersions a n d equal numbers between the sexes. Orangs have the
size dimorphism and unequal numbers of
the other apes but have the human equality
of dispersion within each sex. “Sivapithecus” from Lufeng is reported to have the full
ape condition. Since australos are claimed
to have the ape condition, they are necessarily removed from human ancestry.
+
This book, like much of Oxnard’s work, is
admittedly devoted to arguing that australopithecines are not human ancestors. Here
the approach centers on identifying various
aspects of sexual dimorphism in human vs.
ape dental crown dimensions and tracing
these back through the fossil record.
Paleoanthropologists tend to divide into
two camps-some want the human condition to be as old as possible, while others
seem not to mind any degree of recency.
Oxnard is a n outstanding example of the
first group. By denying t h a t any fossils are
the ancestors of any living form, he postulates a separation of the hominids back as
far as the most extreme biochemical comparison would allow. He says at least 10 million years separate us from a nonhuman
BRIANF. HARRISON
Anthropology Department
Clatsop Community College
Astoria, Oregon
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london, xxxvii, couvering, publishing, delson, van, figuren, ian, eric, evolution, 1988, garland, human, new, encyclopedia, john, tattersall, york, prehistoric, edited, tablet, 603
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