Natural Selection #NewRelease Dawn of Humanity Series Book 3 @Worddreams

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Jacqui Murray to my blog today so that she can tell you about her new book release in the Dawn of Humanity Series! Jacqui is a great supporter of other authors and an active blogger.

Thank you, Jan, for inviting me to visit your blog today. I hope your readers enjoy the topic below.

How Did Early Man Count?

The short answer is: He didn’t, at least, not the way we do. Modern primitive tribes—as recently as the early 1900’s—had little need for exact counts.  “One,” “two”, “some” or “many” sufficiently described a herd, fruit trees, or distance. They recognized when a tribe member was absent by noticing the smaller size of the group and/or by scent.

“…primitive man, relying on an exceptional memory … is capable, by comparing current impressions with the image stored in his memory, of telling whether a single object is missing in a group.”

This is comparable to listening to a piece of music and noticing when the musician leaves out a measure. You can’t say how many measures are in the piece, but you know one was omitted. This is the reason Gottfried Leibnitz call music:

“an unconscious exercise in arithmetic in which the mind does not know its counting.”

There is no need for an exact number. What matters is that one is missing. If you compare that exercise to yourself, you would agree that it’s easy to tell the difference between a grouping of three apples and ten, harder when the grouping is thirty and thirty-one. Primitive tribes used the same skill you do, but could always tell when sizes were even incrementally different, a fact that astonished researchers like Dr. Lev Vygotsky:

“The difference…between twelve apples and three is evident … with no need for counting. … [But the difference between thirty apples and thirty-one is not so evident]. What researchers found astonishing is the subtle differentiation of which primitive man is capable …”

No artifacts from the time of earliest man tell us how he counted. Because of that, I relied on examples from primitive tribes. They measured the day by daylight–when the sun appeared and disappeared—the same way early American settlers did. They pointed to a spot in the sky to tell others when they would return. No one wondered how many hours that was from present. It was enough to know when Sun reached that point in the sky, the individual would be back. They didn’t count how many males were required for hunting or females for foraging though they might ponder whether “more” would be good or “less” was required.

How much easier would the world be without the need to count and relate everything to numbers?



In this conclusion to Lucy’s journey, she and her tribe leave their good home to rescue former-tribe members captured by the enemy. Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man. In this book, more join and some die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, where survival depends on a combination of our developing intellect and our inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to this task. Based on true events.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Book Information:

Title and author: Natural Selection by Jacqui Murray

Series: Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: Anneli Purchase

Available print or digital) at:

Author Bio:

Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature, which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Social Media Contacts:

Amazon Author Page:







Chapter 1

One Pack Ends, Another Begins


The Canis’ packmates were all dead, each crumpled in a smeared puddle of blood, Upright killing sticks embedded where they should never be. His body shook, but he remembered his training. The killers’ scent filled the air. If they saw him—heard him—they would come for him, too, and he must survive. He was the last of his pack.

He padded quietly through the bodies, paused at his mate, broken, eyes open, tongue out, pup under her chest, his head crushed. A moan slipped from his muzzle and spread around him. He swallowed what remained in his mouth. Without a pack, silence was his only protection. He knew to be quiet, but today, now, failed.

To his horror, a departing Upright looked back, face covered in Canis blood, meaty shreds dripping from his mouth, the body of a dead pup slung over his shoulder. The Canis sank into the brittle grass and froze. The Upright scanned the massacre, saw the Canis’ lifeless body, thought him dead like the rest of the decimated pack. Satisfied, he turned away and rushed after his departing tribe. The Canis waited until the Upright was out of sight before cautiously rising and backing away from the onslaught, eyes on the vanished predators in case they changed their minds.

And fell.

He had planned to descend into the gully behind him. Sun’s shadows were already covering it in darkness which would hide him for the night, but he had gauged his position wrong. Suddenly, earth disappeared beneath his huge paws. He tried to scrabble to solid ground, but his weight and size worked against him and he tumbled down the steep slope. The loose gravel made gripping impossible, but he dug his claws in anyway, whining once when his shoulder slammed into a rock, and again when his head bounced off a tree stump. Pain tore through his ear as flesh ripped, dangling in shreds as it slapped the ground. He kept his legs as close as possible to his body and head tucked, thankful this hill ended in a flat field, not a river.

Or a cliff.

When it finally leveled out, he scrambled to his paws, managed to ignore the white-hot spikes shrieking through his head as he spread his legs wide. Blood wafted across his muzzle. He didn’t realize it was his until the tart globs dripped down his face and plopped to the ground beneath his quaking chest. The injured animal odor, raw flesh and fresh blood, drew predators. In a pack, his mate would purge it by licking the wound. She would pronounce him Ragged-ear, the survivor.

Ragged-ear is a strong name. A good one.

He panted, tail sweeping side to side, and his indomitable spirit re-emerged.

I live.

But no one else in his pack did.

Except, maybe, the female called White-streak. She often traveled alone, even when told not to. If she was away during the raid, she may have escaped. He would find her. Together, they would start over.

Ragged-ear shook, dislodging the grit and twigs from his now-grungy fur. That done, he sniffed out White-streak’s odor, discovered she had also descended here. His injuries forced him to limp and blood dripping from his tattered ear obstructed his sight. He stumbled trying to leap over a crack and fell into the fissure. Fire shot through his shoulder, exploded up his neck and down his chest. Normally, that jump was easy. He clambered up its crumbling far wall, breaking several of his yellowed claws.

All of that he ignored because it didn’t matter to his goal.

Daylight came and went as he followed White-streak, out of a forest onto dry savannah that was nothing like his homeland.

Why did she go here?

He embraced the tenderness that pulsed throughout his usually-limber body. It kept him angry and that made him vicious. He picked his way across streams stepping carefully on smooth stones, their damp surfaces slippery from the recent heavy rain, ignoring whoever hammered with a sharp rock inside his head. His thinking was fuzzy, but he didn’t slow. Survival was more important than comfort, or rest.

Ragged-ear stopped abruptly, nose up, sniffing. What had alerted him? Chest pounding, breathing shallow, he studied the forest that blocked his path, seeking anything that shouldn’t be there.

But the throbbing in his head made him miss Megantereon.

Ragged-ear padded forward, slowly, toward the first tree, leaving only the lightest of trails, the voice of Mother in his head.

Yes, your fur color matches the dry stalks, but the grass sways when you move. That gives away your location so always pay attention.

His hackles stiffened and he snarled, out of instinct, not because he saw Megantereon. Its shadowy hiding place was too dark for Ragged-ear’s still-fuzzy thinking. The She-cat should have waited for Ragged-ear to come closer, but she was hungry, or eager, or some other reason, and sprang. Her distance gave the Canis time to back pedal, protecting his soft underbelly from her attack. Ragged-ear was expert at escaping, but his stomach spasmed and he lurched to a stop with a yowl of pain. Megantereon’s next leap would land her on Ragged-ear, but to the Canis’ surprise, the She-cat staggered to a stop, and then howled.

While she had been stalking Ragged-ear, a giant Snake had been stalking her. When she prepared her death leap, Snake dropped to her back and began to wrap itself around her chest. With massive coils the size of Megantereon’s leg, trying to squirm away did no good.

Ragged-ear tried to run, but his legs buckled. Megantereon didn’t care because she now fought a rival that always won. The She-cat’s wails grew softer and then silent. Ragged-ear tasted her death as he dragged himself into a hole at the base of an old tree, as far as possible from scavengers who would be drawn to the feast.

He awoke with Sun’s light, tried to stand, but his legs again folded. Ragged-ear remained in the hole, eyes closed, curled around himself to protect his vulnerable stomach, his tail tickling his nose, comforting.

He survived the Upright’s assault because they deemed him dead. He would not allow them to be right.

Sun came and went. Ragged-ear consumed anything he could find, even eggs, offal, and long-dead carcasses his pack normally avoided. His legs improved until he could chase rats, fat round ground birds, and moles, a welcome addition to his diet. Sometimes, he vomited what he ate and swallowed it again. The day came he once again set out after what remained of his pack, his pace more sluggish than prior to the attack, but quick enough for safety.

Ragged-ear picked up the female’s scent again and tracked her to another den. He slept there for the night and repeated his hunt the next day and the next. When he couldn’t find her trace, instinct drove him and memories of the dying howls of his pack, from the adults who trusted their Alpha Ragged-ear to protect them to the whelps who didn’t understand the presence of evil in their bright world.

Everywhere he traveled, when he crossed paths with an Upright, it was their final battle.

58 thoughts on “Natural Selection #NewRelease Dawn of Humanity Series Book 3 @Worddreams

  1. Hi Jan – it’s interesting where counting and numbers originated … certainly to beyond early Chinese dynasties as too the Mongol Conquests and the Ottoman Empire … because there was no paper or easy recording ‘devices’ we can only ‘guess’ at how some things came about … anthropologists are extraordinary in what they can divine of ‘our early lives’ … you’ve sent me off down a few rabbit holes! Jacqui’s book and the series is quite extraordinary … Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I spent over a ton of time trying to figure out where/how/why counting started. And then, when I came across the Piraha’s in the Amazon rainforest–a modern primitive tribe–who today doesn’t count, it has me rethinking things. Counting is a lot more intriguing than I ever imagined.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I totally agree, Hilary. It’s fascinating. I’m glad you found Jacqui’s book series to be interesting. It’s just amazing to see how far we’ve come as a human species. I appreciate you visiting and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The one tribe I was reading about–in the Amazon rainforest–completely without words for numbers was labeled the happiest people in the world by scientists who studied them. Interesting, don’t you think?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you, Jan, for sharing the post on Jacqui’s new release, “Natural Selection.” It is a fascinating post on how ancient people counted or measured time. The book sounds like an exciting conclusion to the series.


  3. Mind-boggling information here. I would never think of numbers as being unnecessary. What minds these ancient people had! The good news is you’d never have to deal with fractions! I enjoyed this insight into the ancient world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Turns out they’re only necessary because we want to quantify everything. Without that, who cares about numbers? A particular Amazon jungle tribe has no numbers. A scientist asked a mother how she knew if all her children were there. “By smell”. Very interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, you certainly nailed it, J.Q. I have had to try and help my granddaughter with fractions this year for her math class and let’s just say I’ve been out of school way too long. 🙂 I agree this is mind-boggling information. Ancient man had survival instincts way beyond anything that we experience today. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A world without numbers. What a mind-boggling concept, and yet everything you said makes sense, Jacqui. I have a hard enough time stopping to ponder differences when I’m writing a historical timeline thread. I can’t imagine the amount of thought and research you put into your novels. Congratulations on your latest!

    Thanks for hosting Jacqui today, Jan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There a living tribe in the Amazon jungle called the Piraha. They have no words for numbers, colors, a creation myth, a concept of the future, and are purported to be (by anthropologists who visit them) the happiest people on the planet. Amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! I’m definitely looking into this series and other books by Jacqui! Thanks, Jan for hosting! Psst, and increasing the books on my reading list. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Incredible trailer, Jacqui!! I’ve just picked up my copy of Natural Selection, and I’m looking forward to the read. Congratulations! Thank you, Jan, for showcasing Jacqui today. 🌞

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve absolutely got to get started on this series, hopefully over my down time between next week and year’s end. Great post, Jacqui, and thanks for sharing, Jan! Have a great day, Ladies! 😊❤️

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I can’t have you reading this and ME missing out! I’m definitely putting this series on my Read Sooner Rather Than Later list! Let’s do it! 😀 ❤ (I know we'll enjoy it!) 😊

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Not to worry, Jaqcqui. I prefer reading in order if there’s any connection between the books at all, and I love binge reading an entire series at a go, too. Looking forward to these! 😊👍

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That seemed hard to believe the first time I read it, but then I read it again. I think part of that is smell. Think of wine tasters or food testers who can pick up all the ingredients in what they’re testing. Our ancestors could pick out the scents for each tribe member. There were only about ten-ish so that was doable.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jill! It’s unclear how romantic our ancestors were, within our genre, but Bonobos (a cousin to chimpanzees) are very romantic, so who knows?

      I got distracted finding connections between your wonderful Christian romances and my primeval world.

      Liked by 2 people

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