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Latest Human evolution Stories

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2011-03-15 04:00:00

A new study shows clear evidence that our ancient human ancestors in Europe learned to control fire -- one of the most important milestones on the path to civilization -- some 400,000 years ago. The findings are another indication that Neanderthals weren't simply dimwitted brutes, as often portrayed, and were in fact able to thrive in Europe's northern latitudes without the use of fire.  The researchers suggested that a highly active lifestyle, along with a diet high in protein, might...

2011-03-10 23:20:09

One of the most complex human mysteries involves how and why we became an outlier species in terms of biological success. Research findings published in the March 11 edition of the journal Science by an international team of noted anthropologists, including several from Arizona State University, who study hunter-gatherer societies, are informing the issue by suggesting that human ancestral social structure may be the root of cumulative culture and cooperation and, ultimately, human...

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2011-03-10 06:05:00

Scientists have analyzed the genomes of humans and closely related primates and discovered over 500 regulatory regions that chimpanzees and mammals have that humans do not.  Gill Bejerano, a biologist at Stanford University School of Medicine, and colleagues found that humans lack the penile spines found in many other mammals, and also why specific regions of human brains are larger than those of our closest relatives. "Rather than looking for species-specific differences in specific...

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2011-03-08 08:30:00

Modern man may have evolved from the bushmen of Southern Africa, not from the eastern part of the continent as many experts suggest, claims a new study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). A team of experts from Stanford University, Santa Clara University, the University of California, Brown University, Cornell University, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain,...

2011-03-03 12:55:33

Scientists find link between tectonically active landscapes and ancient sites Our earliest ancestors preferred to settle in locations that have something in common with cities such as San Francisco, Naples and Istanbul "“ they are often on active tectonic faults in areas that have an earthquake risk or volcanoes, or both. An international team of scientists has established a link between the shape of the landscape and the habitats preferred by our earliest ancestors. The research, by...

2011-02-17 21:30:38

Dominant model of human adaptation may have played smaller role than thought The most popular model used by geneticists for the last 35 years to detect the footprints of human evolution may overlook more common subtle changes, a new international study finds. Classic selective sweeps, when a beneficial genetic mutation quickly spreads through the human population, are thought to have been the primary driver of human evolution. But a new computational analysis, published in the February 18,...

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...


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
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'