The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

Why Streetlight Social Member Brandon Ptolemy wants you to read Pat Shipman's The Invaders

The singer-songwriter loves dogs and found this book about the history of human-canine relationships to be fascinating.
Brandon Ptolemy, musician from the band Streetlight Social, has lately been reading The Invaders by Pat Shipman. (Streetlight Social)

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Brandon Ptolemy is a member of indie folk-rock band Streetlight Social. The Peterborough-based singer-songwriter spoke with The Next Chapter about The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction by Pat Shipman.

"The book that I've been reading lately is The Invaders by Pat Shipman. It's a book that studies the anthropological of humans moving into Europe, how they used canines and how Neanderthals came to be wiped out. It's about the relationship between canines and humans and how it was that advantage that basically wiped out the Neanderthals that were living in the area at the time. Generally it's considered to be 15,000 years ago that we started training them and keeping them as our companions, but through some new discoveries they found mammoth bones and a graveyard. And in this graveyard they found what appears to be a wolf-dog hybrid.

"I've always had a huge interest in canines — I love dogs, obviously — but it's always been an interesting subject to me to see when they came into our lives, and how they actually helped us develop. The book makes the case that they were really a tool that we used at the time."

Brandon Ptolemy's comments have been edited and condensed.