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Latest Prehistoric Africa Stories

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2010-05-07 06:00:00

According to a genetic study, researchers have found that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred, most likely at the time when early humans first began to migrate from Africa. In Friday's issue of the journal Science, researchers report that people of European, Asian and Australian origin all have Neanderthal DNA. They discovered, however, that people from Africa have no traces of the ancient genome. Researchers believe the study will help resolve a long-lasting debate over whether...

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2010-04-08 10:40:00

Fossil find sheds light on the transition to Homo genus from earlier hominids Two partial skeletons unearthed from a cave in South Africa belong to a previously unclassified species of hominid that is now shedding new light on the evolution of our own species, Homo sapiens, researchers say. The newly documented species, called Australopithecus sediba, was an upright walker that shared many physical traits with the earliest known Homo species"”and its introduction into the fossil record...

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2010-03-21 08:20:00

Experiments by a UA anthropologist and his colleagues show that fossil footprints made 3.6 million years ago are the earliest direct evidence of early hominids using the kind of efficient, upright posture and gait now seen in modern humans More than three million years ago, the ancestors of modern humans were still spending a considerable amount of their lives in trees, but something new was happening. David Raichlen, an assistant professor in the University of Arizona School of Anthropology,...

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2010-02-22 14:40:00

In recent years, DNA evidence has added important new tools for scientists studying the human past. Now, a collection of reviews published by Cell Press in a special issue of Current Biology published online on February 22nd offers a timely update on how new genetic evidence, together with archaeological and linguistic evidence, has enriched our understanding of human history on earth. "To understand what it is to be human, it is essential to understand the human past," says Colin Renfrew of...

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2009-10-21 08:24:54

In an article published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE on October 21, 2009, Dr Thomas Plummer of Queens College at the City University of New York, Dr Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and colleagues report the oldest archeological evidence of early human activities in a grassland environment, dating to 2 million years ago. The article highlights new research and its implications concerning the environments in which human...

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2009-10-01 12:54:34

A U.S. biological anthropologist says he's determined humans did not evolve from apes, but, rather, apes evolved from humans. Kent State University Professor C. Owen Lovejoy, who specializes in the study of human origins, said his findings came from a study of Ardipithecus ramidus, a hominid species that lived 4.4 million years ago in what now is Ethiopia. People often think we evolved from apes, but no, apes in many ways evolved from us, Lovejoy said. It has been a popular idea to think...

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2009-10-01 14:55:00

A 17-year investigation into the discovery of the fragile remains of a small "ground ape" discovered in Ethiopia is described today in a special issue of the journal Science. The report includes 11 papers about the discovery of the Ardipithecus fossils, which include a partial skeleton of a female nicknamed "Ardi", the earliest known skeleton from the human branch of the primate family tree.  The branch includes Homo sapiens as well as species closer to humans than to chimpanzees and...

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2009-08-14 06:30:00

Thousands of years ago, early humans formed higher quality stone tools by putting the rocks in a fire. The 72,000-year-old evidence has been dug up in Africa, researchers announced in of the journal Science. The discovery predates the first evidence of this kind of skill by 45,000 years, reported Curtis Marean, a paleoanthropologist at the Institute of Human Origins, and a co-writer of the report. "Heat treatment technology begins with a genius moment - someone discovers that heating stone...

2009-07-16 09:50:00

The use of tools by hominins - the primate group which includes humans (Homo) and chimpanzees and bonobos (Pan) - has been extensively researched by archaeologists and primatologists, both of who manifest the relevance of tool-use in understanding technology and the origins of human behavior. However, recent research has highlighted the need to include other species such as gorillas and orangutans, as well as other extinct primate groups prior to hominins, in order to situate, for the first...

2009-06-04 14:15:24

Increasing population density, rather than boosts in human brain power, appears to have catalysed the emergence of modern human behaviour, according to a new study by UCL (University College London) scientists published in the journal Science. High population density leads to greater exchange of ideas and skills and prevents the loss of new innovations. It is this skill maintenance, combined with a greater probability of useful innovations, that led to modern human behaviour appearing at...


Latest Prehistoric Africa 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....

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
bellycheer
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".
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