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Latest Prehistoric Africa Stories

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2009-05-11 13:40:00

Researchers discovered 40 strands of fossilized hair inside samples of fossilized dung from a cave in South Africa that was used by brown hyenas, The Telegraph UK reported. Experts say it is extremely rare for soft tissue such as hair, skin and muscle to survive more than a few hundred years, and until the recent discovery, the oldest samples of human hair were found on a 9,000-year-old mummy in northern Chile. Paleontologists believe the newly discovered hair samples are the remains of an...

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2009-05-06 16:30:00

Two studies reported on Wednesday argue that the 18,000-year-old fossil remains of tiny humans found in 2003 in the remote Indonesian island of Flores are indeed a new species, and not pygmies whose brains had withered with disease. Anthropologists have bitterly debated the identity and origins of these cave-dwelling relatives since the discovery of Homo floresiensis "“ often referred to as "the hobbit" due to its small size. Measuring roughly 3 feet tall and weighing 65 pounds, the...

2009-03-16 09:48:12

U.S. and Chinese scientists say they've determined the Peking Man is thousands of years older than thought. A dating method developed by Purdue University Professor Darryl Granger not only produced a more accurate determination of the age of the Zhoukoudian, China, site of remains of Homo erectus, commonly known as Peking Man, but officials said it also suggests he somehow adapted to the cold conditions produced by a mild glacial period. The site was found to be 680,000-780,000 years old,...

2009-03-13 09:57:48

 A new dating method has found that "Peking Man" is around 200,000 years older than previously thought, suggesting he somehow adapted to the cold of a mild glacial period.A dating method developed by a Purdue University researcher allowed a more accurate determination of the age of the Zhoukoudian, China, site of remains of Homo erectus, commonly known as "Peking Man." The site was found to be 680,000-780,000 years old. Earlier estimates put the age at 230,000-500,000 years old.Darryl...

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2009-02-26 15:55:00

Ancient footprints discovered near Ileret in northern Kenya show that some of the earliest humans walked like us and did so on anatomically modern feet more than a million years ago, the Associated Press reported. A Rutgers field school group of mostly American undergraduates excavated the site yielding the footprints, dated to between 1.51 million and 1.53 million years ago, researchers reported in the journal Science. The researchers said the prints indicate a modern upright stride with a...

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2009-02-12 08:37:41

In an unusual intersection of materials science and anthropology, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and The George Washington University (GWU) have applied materials-science-based mathematical models to help shed light on the dietary habits of some of mankind's prehistoric relatives. Their work forms part of a newly published, multidisciplinary analysis* of the early hominid Australopithecus africanus by anthropologists at the State University of New...

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2009-02-04 12:15:00

The facial structure of an ancient relative of modern humans may have evolved to allow them to eat large, hard nuts and seeds as part of a survival strategy, according to a new study by an international team of researchers that includes Florida State University's Dennis E. Slice. The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, challenge a long-standing hypothesis that the distinctive facial skeleton of Australopithecus africanus, a human relative who...

2009-02-03 23:38:09

A U.S. researcher says the facial structure of our early human ancestors appear to have evolved to allow them to eat large, hard nuts to survive. Dennis Slice of Florida State University said the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, challenge the hypothesis that the facial skeleton of Australopithecus africanus was developed for feeding on small objects. The face of the early human relative, who lived in Africa more than 2 million years ago, had...

2009-02-03 09:30:00

Computer simulation shows early humans had jaws to eat diet of hard seeds and nutsYour mother always told you not to use your teeth as tools to open something hard, and she was right. Human skulls have small faces and teeth and are not well-equipped to bite down forcefully on hard objects. Not so of our earliest ancestors, say scientists. New research published in the February 2009 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals nut-cracking abilities in our...

2008-12-22 09:34:13

Modern humans left Africa over 60,000 years ago in a migration that many believe was responsible for nearly all of the human population that exist outside Africa today. Now, researchers have revealed that men and women weren't equal partners in that exodus. By tracing variations in the X chromosome and in the non-sex chromosomes, the researchers found evidence that men probably outnumbered women in that migration. The scientists expect that their method of comparing X chromosomes with the...


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
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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