In "Masters of the Planet," Ian Tattersall takes us back 50,000 years to a moment when Homo sapiens were battling other human species to survive. Using fossils and other evidence, Tattersall tells the story of how our species has survived 200,000 years, while the others became extinct.
What made Homo sapiens the masters of the planet?
Tattersall spoke about his research on NPR's Talk of the Nation:
"Obviously, culture is in the strictest sense is not confined to human beings. Chimpanzees, for example, in different parts of Africa pass along, from one generation to another - they pass along particular ways of doing things. But no other creature has a culture of the depth and the richness that human beings have. And human beings have taken culture to a whole new level. And we have come - biologically, we've come a very long way in a very short time. And I think it's culture that has allowed us to do that because having culture as a buffer against the environment that's allowed different kinds of hominid to spread out over the world and occupy some very marginal environments, which they very often have had to abandoned."
Tattersall will join The Daily Circuit Tuesday to discuss his book and his research.