The Skull in the Rock

The Skull in the Rock

How A Scientist, A Boy, and Google Earth Opened A New Window on Human Origins

Book - 2012
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From the fossil hunter who discovered the Homo naledi fossils in September 2015, this book is an amazing account of Lee Berger's 2008 hunt - with the help of his curious 9-year-old son - for a previously unknown species of ape-like creatures that may have been direct ancestors of modern humans. The discovery of two remarkably well preserved, two-million-year-old fossils of an adult female and young male, known as Australopithecus sediba, has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history. The fossils reveal what may be one of humankind's oldest ancestors. Berger believes the skeletons they found on the Malapa site in South Africa could be the "Rosetta stone that unlocks our understanding of the genus Homo" and may just redesign the human family tree. Berger, an Eagle Scout and National Geographic Grantee, is the Reader in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science in the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. The focus of the book will be on the way in which we can apply new thinking to familiar material and come up with a breakthrough. Marc Aronson is particularly interested in framing these issues for young people and has had enormous success with this approach in his previous books: Ain't Nothing But a Man and If Stones Could Speak. Berger's discovery in one of the most excavated and studied areas on Earth revealed a treasure trove of human fossils-and an entirely new human species-where people thought no more field work might ever be necessary. Technology and revelation combined, plus a good does of luck, to broaden by ten times the number of early human fossils known, rejuvenating this field of study and posing countless more questions to be answered in years and decades to come. Releases simultaneously in Reinforced Library Binding: 978-1-4263-1053-9 , $27.90/$32.00 Can
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, 2012.
ISBN: 9781426310102
Branch Call Number: 569.9 ARO J
Characteristics: 64 p. : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Additional Contributors: Berger, Lee R.


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Oct 26, 2013

Imagine being a nine-year-old who gets to hunt for fossils in Africa. Most kids would think that would be the coolest thing on the planet. Matthew Berger is the lucky kid who gets to hang out with his dad and scientist Professor Lee Berger. Matthew and his dad were in Johannesburg, South Africa. The area they look for fossils is known as the Cradle of Humankind because important fossils have been found in the past in this area. Matthew discovered a clavicle, a bone that is part of the shoulder. Colorful real life photos demonstrate how small this bone can be and how keen Matthew's eye for finding fossils must be.

Young readers can learn how to look for and detect fossils. The history of Professor Lee's fossil finds along with photographs on site will engage students and teachers. Famous fossils such as the Taung Child, a new genus and species named by Lee, are among the pages with images. Lee uses Google Earth to get a closer look and detects areas of potential observation he may have missed. Young readers will travel along with Professor Lee as he explores and explains all the interesting facts, places and fossils he discovers. Important finds that change the history and what we may think about in terms of evolution are on these pages with proof and stunning photography.

This book is a must have for any home or classroom. If you have trouble getting your boys to read this is a great start and will more than likely peek their curiosity. The back of the book has a plethora of resources to get little fossil hunters wanting to learn more.


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