Your audiobook is waiting…

Humanimal

How Homo Sapiens Became Nature’s Most Paradoxical Creature: A New Evolutionary History
Narrated by: Adam Rutherford
Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (56 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived investigates what it means to be human - and animal 

Evolutionary theory has long established that humans are animals: Modern Homo sapiens are primates who share an ancestor with monkeys and other great apes. Our genome is 98 percent identical to a chimpanzee's. And yet we think of ourselves as exceptional. Are we? 

In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores the profound paradox of the "human animal." Looking for answers across the animal kingdom, he finds that many things once considered exclusively human are not: In Australia, raptors have been observed starting fires to scatter prey; in Zambia, a chimp named Julie even started a "fashion" of wearing grass in one ear. We aren't the only species that communicates, makes tools, or has sex for reasons other than procreation. But we have developed a culture far more complex than any other we've observed. Why has that happened, and what does it say about us? 

Humanimal is a new evolutionary history - a synthesis of the latest research on genetics, sex, migration, and much more. It reveals what unequivocally makes us animals - and also why we are truly extraordinary. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2019 Adam Rutherford (P)2019 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A smooth, expert, and often startling history that emphasizes that no behavior separates us from other animals, but we remain an utterly unique species." (Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Scattered and anecdotal

Adam Rutherford is expert and intelligent, and writes, and narrates, in an entertaining way. But halfway through Humanimal (which I've just given up on), I'm really not finding anything to hold onto. Occasionally he injects an interesting story,but there isn't much structure to the book as a whole -- it's like finding raisins scattered around in the dough for Irish soda bread.. So you walk away with a few factoids to work into a cocktail party conversation, but not much else, as far as I can see.

To clarify, a "factoid" was originally a false statement presented as true, though it's also come to mean a small, entertaining piece of information. Factoids in the latter sense are very often simply wrong, for example because they're misinterpretations, or,speculation dressed up as fact, or research claims that didn't stand up. Adam Rutherford clearly has good sense, and has presumably seen the primary sources, but,here, and in the print edition, he doesn't tell you what those sources are -- you just have to take his word for it, just as he's taken their word for it,. Together with the overall lack of focus, that kills the book for me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Too Short

I find Dr. Rutherford a very good read and an even better listen to. I can't imagine anyone else reading his works that would give one the feeling of talking to you from across a cafe table. He is writing about things he has come to believe and he is not afraid to say when he disagrees.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow! What a Tour de Force!

Biology and Culture examined from a spectacular keen mind. What makes us (humans) different from other animals, even when individual features of commonality may be found. Rutherford is just personal enough in his encyclopedic integration to hold our interest throughout. Wow!