Survival of the Adaptable

Chapter Three "Survival of the Adaptable"

The human lineage was not always at the top of the food chain. Our ancestors met astonishing challenges in their surroundings, and were susceptible to disease, injury, and predators. Environmental change – one of the ongoing challenges to survival – created both risks and opportunities in the lives of early humans. The period of human evolution was one of the most dramatic eras of climate instability in Earth’s history. In every generation, early humans faced the problem of how best to endure in their immediate surroundings. Yet over time, the line between thriving and extinction was defined by how best to adjust to the uncertainties of climate shifts between rainy and arid, glacial and warm.  Uniting these two exciting domains of science – human origins and climate change – offers a compelling new way to examine the evidence of human evolution. Read more in Chapter 3 of the book What Does It Mean To Be Human? by downloading the pdf here.