A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins
By Peter Ungar
About the BookWhether we realize it or not, we carry in our mouths the legacy of our evolution. Our teeth are like living fossils that can be studied and compared to those of our ancestors to teach us how we became human. In Evolution’s Bite, noted paleoanthropologist Peter Ungar brings together for the first time cutting-edge advances in understanding human evolution with new approaches to uncovering dietary clues from fossil teeth. The result is a remarkable investigation into the ways that teeth—their shape, chemistry, and wear—reveal how we came to be. Traveling the four corners of the globe and combining scientific breakthroughs with vivid narrative, Evolution’s Bite presents a unique dental perspective on our astonishing human development.
Peter S. Ungar is Distinguished Professor and director of the Environmental Dynamics Program at the University of Arkansas.
“The revelation of not only how the science is done, but also what a huge difference a tangential idea such as Ungar’s topographic analysis can make, is one of the great delights and strengths of the book. Our mouths are full of history. Evolution’s Bite will change forever how you see your early morning smile.”—Adrian Barnett, New Scientist
“In Evolution’s Bite, palaeoanthropologist Peter Ungar offers a compelling account of how the interaction of teeth, diet and environment has shaped human evolution.”—Louise Humphrey, Nature
“I dug [Evolution’s Bite]. Sink your teeth into it.”—Steve Mirsky, Scientific American
"One of CHOICE’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2017"
“Evolution’s Bite combines personal anecdotes from Ungar’s own career with vivid historical accounts of the work of some of the pioneers in the fields of paleoanthropology, primatology, dental functional anatomy, and paleoclimatology…. Written in an easy-to-read style.”—K. Christopher Beard, Science
“From the start, Mr. Ungar places the evolutionary changes of teeth within the history of scientific discovery. Researchers and their methods have as much presence as the facts they discovered and the hypotheses they developed, providing readers with a short course on the deep science of dental anatomy.”—Brian Switek, Wall Street Journal