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The Book Forum
November 30, 1964

The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution: An Introduction to the Study of Paleoanthropology

JAMA. 1964;190(9):860. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070220066029

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In a short survey for nonspecialists, the reader expects to find sharp comers rounded off, controversies glibly evaded or ignored. Professor LeGros Clark has no such intention. On the contrary, he has written a highly stimulating book which not only summarizes the cogent material, but also expresses some unorthodox theories.

We are usually taught that the evolution of ground-living forms in the ancestry of man resulted from adaptations secondary to the abandonment of arboreal life. Paradoxically, the author suggests that these adaptations were concerned with an attempt to retain arboreal life. "For in regions undergoing gradual deforestation, they would make it possible to cross intervening grasslands in order to pass from one restricted and shrinking wooded area to another."

Emphasizing that the origin of the Hominidae is still conjectural, LeGros Clark hypothesizes that the gradational series of types—modern Homo sapiens, Early Mousterian and Acheulian man, Homo erectus (Pithecanthropus), and Australopithecus

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