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Evolution's Bite


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 1 How Teeth Work 5 2 How Teeth Are Used 34 3 Out of the Garden 60 4 Our Changing World 87 5 Foodprints 110 6 What Made Us Human 140 7 The Neolithic Revolution 169 8 Victims of Our Own Success 198 Notes 209 Index 229

About the Author

Peter S. Ungar is Distinguished Professor and director of the Environmental Dynamics Program at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of Teeth: A Very Short Introduction and Mammal Teeth: Origin, Evolution, and Diversity and the editor of Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


"In Evolution's Bite, palaeoanthropologist Peter Ungar offers a compelling account of how the interaction of teeth, diet and environment has shaped human evolution."--Louise Humphrey, Nature "Evolution's Bite combines personal anecdotes from Ungar's own career with vivid historical accounts of the work of some of the pioneers in the fields of paleoanthropology, primatology, dental functional anatomy, and paleoclimatology... [W]ritten in an easy-to-read style."--K. Christopher Beard, Science "[A] fascinating exploration of the world of teeth and what they have to teach us about the evolution of modern humans and the environments that shaped that process... Ungar's book is about as close to a tour de force as a science book is likely to get. The writing is accessible, often witty, and the balance between discussion of what the empirical data has to show us and the history of the field of paleoarchaeology itself creates a narrative of the lives of both the discovered and the discoverers that is hard to put down... I recommend this book with my highest praise."--David Brock, NSTA Recommends "Ungar has spent his career studying the evolution of teeth. [Evolution's Bite] blends the results of his work with new research from many other disciplines... An excellent book for those with a serious interest in anthropology."--Library Journal

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