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Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (book)

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Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are
Cover of the first edition
AuthorsCarl Sagan
Ann Druyan
SubjectHistory of life
PublisherRandom House (1992)
Ballantine Books (1993)
Publication date
1992 (Random House)
1993 (Ballantine Books)
Publication placeUnited States
Media typePrint (Hardback and Paperback)
Followed byPale Blue Dot 

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are is a 1992 book by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.[1]


The authors give a summary account of the evolutionary history of life on Earth, with particular focus upon certain traits central to human nature and the discussion of where their precursors began to develop in other species. In the final chapters, they examine primates in detail, comparing the details between anatomically modern humans and the extant species most closely related to them.

The book was the basis for an episode of the same name in the 2020 series Cosmos: Possible Worlds, written by Druyan and Brannon Braga.[citation needed]

Publication data[edit]


  1. ^ Copyright information page, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.