The Hominid Gang

Delta Willis, Author Viking Books $21.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-670-82808-1
Scientists' awareness of seven hominid species antedating our own spurs the tantalizing search for human origins. Willis, a contributor to Omni and People who has hiked across East Africa with leading paleontologists, reviews the recent, dramatic discoveries of Richard Leakey, Donald Johansen and other paleoanthropologists in a detailed yet meandering report that will appeal to serious students but may leave the general reader bewildered. Among the finds discussed are the ``Turkana Boy,'' a 1.6-million-year-old Homo erectus skeleton found in Kenya in 1984, and hominid footprints preserved in volcanic ash in Tanzania, dating back 3.5 million years. Besides exploring current controversies, Willis profiles key investigators, among them Mary Leakey, Kamoya Kimeu, Joseph Mutaba and Frank Brown. She also examines the ``Theory of Eve,'' which holds that a single female Homo erectus mothered all of us--a hypothesis being tested via DNA analysis. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-14-014732-2
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