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The Birth of Homo, the Marine Chimpanzee: When the tool becomes the master
by Michel Odent

Pinter & Martin 5th October 2017 paperback original £11.99

Internationally renowned obstetrician and birth pioneer Michel Odent has dedicated his professional life to exploring human nature and reconsidering the dominant way to understand childbirth. For several decades, he has been a pioneer in this field and has introduced new concepts now viewed as standard, including the initiation of lactation during the hour following birth and the use of birthing pools.

Now, in his radical new book The Birth of Homo, the Marine Chimpanzee, Odent examines the case for viewing Homo as the ‘marine chimpanzee’, particularly adapted to coastal areas. By drawing on a diversity of fast-developing disciplines including genetics, physiology, history of canoeing and studies of the fluctuations of sea levels, Odent explores the implications of the ‘marine chimpanzee’ concept on our evolution as a species, our understanding of the birth process and crucially the survival of man on earth.

At a time in history when human domination of nature is more profound than ever before, and increasing evidence points to environmental pollutants influencing man’s ability to reproduce, he calls for a ‘symbiotic revolution’ where man and nature co-exist if homo is to survive. With his characteristic ability to look at the ‘big picture’ and challenge conventional thinking, Michel Odent once again manages to persuade readers to view themselves, and their species, in a completely new light.

Michel Odent, MD, was head of the surgical and maternity units at the Pithiviers state hospital in France (1962-1985) and is the founder of the Primal Health Research Centre in London. He introduced in the 1970s the concepts of home-like birthing rooms and birthing pools in maternity hospitals. He created the Primal Health Research database ( and the website Michel Odent is author of 15 books published in 22 languages and countless articles indexed in Pubmed.

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