The Invaders

  • by Pat Shipman
  • Narrated by Donna Postel
  • 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe - descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question: Why did modern humans survive while their evolutionary cousins went extinct?
The Invaders musters compelling evidence to show that the major factor in the Neanderthals' demise was direct competition with newly arriving humans. Drawing on insights from the field of invasion biology, Pat Shipman traces the devastating impact of a growing human population: reduction of Neanderthals' geographic range, isolation into small groups, and loss of genetic diversity. But modern humans were not the only invaders who competed with Neanderthals for big game. Shipman reveals fascinating confirmation of humans' partnership with the first domesticated wolf-dogs soon after Neanderthals first began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, she hypothesizes, made possible an unprecedented degree of success in hunting large Ice Age mammals - a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for humans over Neanderthals at a time when climate change made both groups vulnerable.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More Research Essay, Less Historical Narrative

This book was not what I expected. It was a well researched series of technical papers that discuss the research of many leaders in the field of anthropology and archeology. The fascinating information is presented in topical chapters. I recommend listening to this in an environment that allows for strict attention, rather than while multitasking.
My primary critique of the writing is the sense that the author is continuously apologizing for refuting the conclusions of others. This made it difficult to focus on her arguments and assertions.
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- sazzy

Ever wonder why we outlived the Neanderthals?

If you could sum up The Invaders in three words, what would they be?

Intriguing, enlightening and fascinating

What did you like best about this story?

This gives an excellent explanation of why the Neanderthals disappeared and why modern humans now run the world. I will never look at my dog the same again.

What about Donna Postel’s performance did you like?

Very well spoken.

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- Russell L. Losco

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-19-2015
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio