The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond

This book is a landmark achievement in anthropology and evolutionary biology from the polymath Jared Diamond. ( It is no less than a wholescale assessment of human existence. How did we evolve to dominate so many other species and what is the long term future for a creature that shares 98% of its genes with chimpanzees?

Diamond deftly explains both what marks us out as distinctly human, and also how we are still very much in the grip of our animal origins. A wonderful book. This work won The Royal Society Prize for Science Books. First published 1991. Enquire at your local library or available at

Take time out to listen to the BBC Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’ 45 minute episode on human evolution. Available at  With Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics in the Galton Laboratory at University College London; Fred Spoor, Professor of Evolutionary Anatomy at University College London; Margaret Clegg, Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Biological Anthropology at University College London. First broadcast Thursday 16 Feb 2006. Chaired by Melvyn Bragg.

368 pages in Vintage Press paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0099913801

Jared Diamond – polymath extraordinaire

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