Ever wondered what the difference is between Homo sapiens and Homo erectus ? Or how these and other human ancestors are related to each other?
Well, the story of human evolution is a complicated one, and keeping track of who's who can be difficult, even for the experts.
The Human Story, a new Natural History Museum book by Charles Lockwood, unravels many of these mysteries from our earliest ancestors dating back 6 to 7 million years, to our own species, H. sapiens .
Chris Stringer, the Museum's human origins expert and writer of the book's foreword says 'Charles Lockwood guides us expertly through the evidence for over 20 of the fossil species that represent our ancestors or close relatives.'
Descriptions for each species are given, one by one, with illustrations and information about the latest discoveries in clear, easy-to-follow language.
Find out what H.habilis looked like, what H.erectus ate, how and when Australopithecus africanus lived, as well as how we know this information.
Charles explains why he decided to write the book, 'I teach courses in human evolution, and I often see how much the terms associated with the subject can get in the way of understanding.'
'In particular, the long list of species names is intimidating, and it becomes longer every year as new fossils are discovered. These names are not just jargon - they represent living, breathing creatures that are our ancestors and close relatives.'
Charles adds, 'The Human Story should help unravel the diversity that we see in our evolutionary past, for those coming to the subject for the first time as well as those with a deeper interest.'
Charles Lockwood, PhD is Lecturer in Human Evolution in the Department of Anthropology at University College London. He is an expert on early hominin taxonomy, evolutionary relationships, and the evolution of skeletal differences between males and females.