Since Darwin's time, the natural selection of adult features has been emphasized as the dominant factor directing human evolution. In recent years, however, evolutionary scientists have recognized variations in the growth and development of individuals as an indispensable ingredient of evolutionary change.
The chapters in Human Evolution through Developmental Change reflect two major strands of research in the study of human heterochrony, the change in the timing and rate of development of individuals. First, paleoanthropological evidence culled from the remains of infant and juvenile hominid fossils held in the world's museums has provided valuable new insights into the way naturally selected traits come about. Second, remarkable strides in molecular biology over the past twenty years have allowed scientists to confirm evolutionary relationships between species and test the relationships of new evolutionary patterns to changes in the rate of development at a variety of levels, from molecules to organ systems.
Editors Nancy Minugh-Purvis and Kenneth J. McNamara have organized the chapters of the book into three sections. The first section considers theoretical applications of heterochronic methods to the hominid fossil record. The second section considers the relationship of developmental change to various aspects of hominid life history, including cognitive, sexual, and structural developments. The third section provides a chronological survey of heterochronic change in the hominid fossil record from the Pliocene to late Pleistocene eras. Human Evolution through Developmental Change will be a valuable resource for scientists and students of developmental biology, physical and social anthropology, and paleontology who wish to understand current views on the underlying mechanisms of human evolution.
David M. Alba, Institut de Paleontologia M. Crusafont, Spain * Robert L. Anemone, Western Michigan University * Susan C. Anton, Rutgers University * Christine Berge, Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle, France * Jose Braga, Universite Bordeaux I, France * George Chaplin, California Academy of Sciences * Susan J. Crockford, Pacific Identifications, Canada * Gunther J. Eble, Smithsonian Institution and Santa Fe Institute * Rebecca Z. German, University of Cincinnati * Laurie R. Godfrey, University of Massachusetts * Brian K. Hall, Dalhousie University, Canada * F. Clark Howell, University of California, Berkeley * Nina G. Jablonski, California Academy of Sciences * Jay Kelley, University of Illinois * Kevin K. Kuykendall, University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa * Bruno Maureille, Universite Bordeaux I, France * Michael L. McKinney, University of Tennessee * Kenneth J. McNamara, Western Australian Museum, Australia * Nancy Minugh-Purvis, MCP Hahnemann University * Andrew J. Nelson, University of Western Ontario, Canada * Sue Taylor Parker, Sonoma State University * Fernando Ramirez Rozzi, Meudon la Foret, France * Sean H. Rice, Yale University * Brian T. Shea, Northwestern University * Scott A. Stewart, University of Cincinnati * Michael R. Sutherland, University of Massachusetts * Jennifer L. Thompson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas * Frank L'Engle Williams, Pennsylvania State University