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Latest Human evolution Stories

2011-02-17 12:46:23

New fossil discoveries have provided a glimpse into the biogeographic configuration of Africa over the last seven million years. Modern-day Africa south of the Sahara is home to a unique variety of mammals, a great number of which are not found anywhere else in the world. Biogeographers have long recognized that sub-Saharan Africa constitutes one of the world's six major mammalian biogeographic divisions, termed 'realms'. However, the historical development of these continental regions of...

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2011-02-17 09:26:11

"Too simple" and "not so fast" suggest biological anthropologists from the George Washington University and New York University about the origins of human ancestry. In the upcoming issue of the journal Nature, the anthropologists question the claims that several prominent fossil discoveries made in the last decade are our human ancestors. Instead, the authors offer a more nuanced explanation of the fossils' place in the Tree of Life. They conclude that instead of being our ancestors the...

2011-02-15 13:08:19

That human evolution follows a progressive trajectory is one of the most deeply-entrenched assumptions about our species. This assumption is often expressed in popular media by showing cavemen speaking in grunts and monosyllables (the GEICO Cavemen being a notable exception). But is this assumption correct? Were the earliest humans significantly different from us? In a paper published in the latest issue of Current Anthropology, archaeologist John Shea (Stony Brook University) shows they...

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2011-02-11 06:25:00

A fossilized arched foot bone recovered from Ethiopia shows that our human ancestors walked upright 3.2 million years ago, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The fossil, a fourth metatarsal, or midfoot bone, belongs to a group of the famed hominid Lucy, and indicates that a permanently arched foot was present in the species Australopithecus afarensis.  The findings are the first evidence to address the question of how this species moved around. "This fourth...

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2011-02-09 11:29:39

Eight small teeth found in a cave near Rosh Haain, central Israel, are raising big questions about the earliest existence of humans and where we may have originated, says Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam. Part of a team of international researchers led by Dr. Israel Hershovitz of Tel Aviv University, Qaum and his colleagues have been examining the dental discovery and recently published their joint findings in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Excavated at Qesem...

2011-02-03 17:53:27

The genes that make up the human genome were mapped by HUGO, the Human Genome Organization, and published in 2001. Now the project is expanding into the HUPO, the Human Proteome Organization. Within the framework of this organization, many hundreds of researchers around the world will work together to identify the proteins that the different genes give rise to in the human body. "The 'proteome', the set of all human proteins, is significantly more complicated than the genome. There are over...

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2011-01-26 12:45:00

According to a recently published genome analysis of orangutans, the two populations of the creatures in the forests of Borneo and Sumatra have similarities and differences between the Great Ape family and their human cousins. "As more information about primates becomes known, we find additional genes for which there is positive selection," said Dr. Kim Worley, associate professor in the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center and an author of the report that appears in the...

2011-01-24 15:27:31

Can't help molding some snow into a ball and hurling it or tossing a stone as far into a lake as you can? New research from Indiana University and the University of Wyoming shows how humans, unlike any other species on Earth, readily learn to throw long distances. This research also suggests that this unique evolutionary trait is entangled with language development in a way critical to our very existence. The study, appearing online Jan. 14 in the journal "Evolution and Human Behavior,"...

2011-01-12 18:30:20

Leading personal genomics company reviews last year's genetic milestones on the journey to understanding the role of genetics in personal health, human development and ancestry 23andMe has released its first annual list of what it felt to be the 10 most interesting and significant genetic findings in 2010, as part of an ongoing journey to understand the role of genetics in personal health and human development. "Our understanding of the human genome is accelerating at a phenomenal rate,"...

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2011-01-11 12:00:51

A study published this week says that dying young was not the reason Neanderthals went extinct, adding that that early modern humans had about the same life expectancy as their hairier kin. Scientists have been puzzled over why the Neanderthals disappeared just as modern humans were making huge gains and moving into new parts of Africa and Europe, and some have speculated that a difference in longevity may have been the reason. The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of...


Latest Human evolution Reference Libraries

Australopithecus garhi
2013-11-29 11:38:51

Australopithecus garhi is a gracile australopithecine species whose fossils were discovered in 1996 by a research team led by Ethiopian paleontologist Berhane Asfaw ad Tim White, an American paleontologist. The remains are believed to be a human ancestor species and most likely the direct ancestor to the human genus Homo. Tim White was the scientist to find the first of the key A. garhi fossils in 1996 within the Bouri Formation found in the Middle Awash of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression....

Neanderthals
2013-10-03 16:03:35

The Neanderthals or Neandertals are an extinct species or subspecies of the genus Homo which is closely related to modern humans. They are known from fossils, dating back from the Pleistocene period, which have been found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia. The species gets its name from Neandertal, “Neander’s Valley”, the location in Germany where it was first uncovered. Neanderthals are classified either as a subspecies of Homo sapiens or as a distinct species of the...

Homo sapiens
2013-09-24 13:55:52

Homo sapiens is the scientific name for the human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and various other extinct species of hominid. H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, distinguished from their direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens_idaltu). Subspecies of H. sapiens include Homo sapiens idaltu, roughly translated as “elder wise human” and...

Homo sapiens idaltu
2013-09-24 12:20:45

Homo sapiens idaltu is an extinct subspecies of Homo sapiens that lived nearly 160,000 years ago during the Pleistocene in Africa. “Idaltu” comes from the Saho-Afar word meaning “elder” or “first born”. The fossilized remains of H. s. idaltu were uncovered at Herto Bouri near the Middle Awash site of Ethiopia’s Afar Triangle in the year 1997 by Tim White, but were first revealed in 2003. Herto Bouri is a portion of Ethiopia under volcanic layers. By using radioisotope dating,...

Homo floresiensis
2013-09-16 13:06:40

Homo floresiensis Homo floresiensis, or Flores Man, nicknamed “hobbit” and “Flow”, is an extinct species in the genus Homo. The remains of an individual that would have stood about 3 feet in height were uncovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Incomplete skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete cranium. These remains have been the focus of intense research to establish whether they represent a species distinctive from modern humans....

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Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.