human evolution

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In Ancient Times, Humans May Have Gone Nearly Extinct

Little more than 1K remained after collapse around 930K years ago, study finds

(Newser) - Scientists have observed a hole in the fossil record of early humans in Africa dating from about 900,000 to 600,000 years ago. That might be because, as a new study contends, 98.7% of human ancestors were wiped out. "The novel finding opens a new field in...

Curly-Haired People: You Are Cooler Than Others
People: You
Are Cooler
Than Others
New Study

Curly-Haired People: You Are Cooler Than Others


(Newser) - A new Penn State study reported by Smithsonian Magazine has determined that humans in general evolved with more hair on our heads for a reason: to cool off our growing brains. And according to the researchers who authored the paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , curly-haired...

'Seemingly Impossible' DNA Task Earns Him a Nobel

Swede Svante Paabo wins prize for physiology or medicine for work on human evolution

(Newser) - This year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to Swedish scientist Svante Paabo for his discoveries on human evolution. Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Committee, announced the winner Monday at the Karolinska Institute in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Paabo has spearheaded research comparing the...

Meet Our Direct Ancestor: Homo Bodoensis
Meet Our
Direct Ancestor:
Homo Bodoensis


Meet Our Direct Ancestor: Homo Bodoensis

Researchers propose new human species, elimination of 2 others

(Newser) - The Middle Pleistocene brought about the emergence of modern humans in Africa some 300,000 years ago. But plenty else happened during the epoch, stretching from 774,000 to 129,000 years ago, and a new study aims to clarify things with the naming of a new species and direct...

Scientists Recreate Skull of Mysterious Neanderthal Cousin

DNA analysis yielded clues on Denisovans

(Newser) - Scientists say they've deciphered features of the skull and some other details of a mysterious, extinct cousin of Neanderthals by analyzing its DNA. The genetic material came from the finger bone of a female member of the Denisovans, a population known mostly from small bone fragments and teeth recovered...

'Healthiest Dead Things You'll Ever See' Found in S. Africa
Bones Found in 2nd Chamber
of Cave Spur Huge Questions
in case you missed it

Bones Found in 2nd Chamber of Cave Spur Huge Questions

More bones unearthed from H. naledi species, upending evolution beliefs

(Newser) - In 2015 it was a discovery described as "unlike anything we have seen." Now even more so. A second chamber in a South African cave system has produced bones belonging to Homo naledi, a species scientists now believe may have existed around the same time as Homo sapiens...

Ancients' Skulls Pose a Puzzle for Our Family Tree

They're not quite Neanderthal and not quite Homo sapien

(Newser) - First, back in 2007, they found tools. Then, a bone. Now archaeologists who've continued to return to the same dig in Lingjing, China, report in the journal Science that they've unearthed more than 40 separate skull fragments to pull together two partial skulls that date back 100,000...

This Tiny Bone Reveals a Big Find in Human Evolution

Oldest humanlike hand bone dates back 2M years: study

(Newser) - Scientists have stumbled upon the oldest known fossil of a hand bone that looks a lot like one found in your own hand, though this one is at least 1.84 million years old. Found in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, the hominin bone—likely from the pinky of a left...

Ancient Skull Is the 'Missing Connection' in Human History

Researchers say it points to out-of-Africa migration

(Newser) - An ancient skull found in a cave in Israel is the first solid evidence that our species migrated out of Africa to colonize the rest of the world around 60,000 years ago, researchers say. The 55,000-year-old skull "is the missing connection between African and European populations,"...

This Carving May Prove Neanderthals Were Artists

Carving dates to 39K years ago; Neanderthals disappeared around that time

(Newser) - An ancient etching inside a cave in Gibraltar may mean that Neanderthals' knuckles weren't dragging quite as much as we believed, reports the BBC . The design suggests Neanderthals were capable of symbolic thinking, a trait once believed to be unique to modern humans, anthropologist Clive Finlayson of the Gibraltar...

Kinder, Gentler Humans Built Modern Culture
Kinder, Gentler Humans
Built Modern Culture
study says

Kinder, Gentler Humans Built Modern Culture

Study finds link between lower testosterone, evolutionary jump

(Newser) - Maybe all mankind needed to become more civilized was a kinder, gentler touch, suggests a study out of the University of Utah and Duke University. The new research now links a drop in testosterone to our ancestors' sudden jump into civilized behavior about 50,000 years ago. This is when...

'Pit of Bones' Yields Oldest Human DNA —and a Mystery

Bones in Spain linked to distant Asian population

(Newser) - Technological breakthroughs have allowed scientists to sequence human DNA from an astonishing 400,000 years ago—but analysis of an ancient leg bone has raised more questions than answers, the BBC reports. Researchers were surprised to find that the early human whose remains were unearthed in Spain's "Pit...

1.8M-Year-Old Skull Alters Tale of Human History

'Jaw-dropping' find points to single species spreading from Africa

(Newser) - Many scientists have argued that several different species of human ancestors spread from Africa—but a 1.8 million-year-old skull and the fossilized remains of four other creatures seem to tell a different story. The scientists who found the bones at Dmanisi, in the country of Georgia, in 2005 say...

Maybe Neanderthals Weren't Such ... Neanderthals
Maybe Neanderthals Weren't Such ... Neanderthals 

Maybe Neanderthals Weren't Such ... Neanderthals

Scientists find they were making bone tools long before humans arrived

(Newser) - Researchers have found what they say are specialized bone tools made by Neanderthals in Europe thousands of years before modern humans are thought to have arrived to share such skills, a discovery that suggests modern man's distant cousins were more advanced than we thought. In a paper published yesterday...

Big Eyes Doomed Neanderthals

 Doomed by 
 ... Big Eyes? 

Neanderthals Doomed by ... Big Eyes?

Better eyesight used up vital brain power

(Newser) - The dark and gloomy weather of northern Europe caused the Neanderthals to develop bigger eyes—but their improved vision turned out to be their downfall, a new study finds. More of the Neanderthal brain was devoted to vision at the expense of high-level processing, leaving them ill-equipped to deal with...

Humans Had Fire 1M Years Ago
 Humans Had Fire 1M Years Ago 

Humans Had Fire 1M Years Ago

Archeologist say they've found earliest evidence of human fire use

(Newser) - Scientists believe they've uncovered the earliest known evidence of human fire usage. Charred bones and plant ash sediment found in Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa suggest that Homo erectus was playing with fire a whopping 1 million years ago, more than twice as far back as previous evidence had...

Scientists Find Bones of Another Pre-Human Walker

They clearly belong to primitive foot of a walking creature

(Newser) - Lucy was not alone. Scientists have unearthed fossilized bones that they believe must have belonged to the foot of another pre-human species that walked upright around 3 million years ago, the AP reports. It's the first evidence of such a species during that era since the one made famous...

'Red Deer Cave People' May Be New Human Species

Stone Age remains found in China puzzle researchers

(Newser) - Bones found in southern China may be evidence of a previously unknown human species, researchers say. The "Red Deer Cave People" survived until some 11,000 years ago, but don't appear to have interbred with neighboring peoples, the BBC reports. Their remains have a puzzling mix of ancient...

Body Hair Is Bedbug Warning System

 Body Hair Is Bedbug 
 Warning System 

Body Hair Is Bedbug Warning System

Our layer of fine hairs aids parasite detection: study

(Newser) - Scientists who wondered why human skin still boasts as many follicles as that of great apes—ours, of course, grow hair much, much finer—believe our species' continued hairiness serves as an alarm system that protects us from bedbugs and other biting insects, the Economist finds. The researchers, who shaved...

'Human Invasion' Killed Off Neanderthals

Modern humans crowded Neanderthals out of Europe, study says

(Newser) - Modern humans may have ended the Neanderthals' 300,000-year dominance of Europe through sheer numbers instead of brain power, a new study claims. The researchers say the "human invasion" 40,000 years ago left the Neanderthals outnumbered 10 to 1 by the newcomers, forcing them into fierce competition for...

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