DNA was extracted from the molar teeth of this skeleton, dating from almost 10,000 years ago and found in the Kotias Klde rockshelter in Western Georgia. CREDIT : Eppie Jones
19 Nov 2015

‘Fourth strand’ of European ancestry originated with hunter-gatherers isolated by Ice Age

The first sequencing of ancient genomes extracted from human remains that date back to the Late Upper Palaeolithic period over 13,000 years ago has revealed a previously unknown “fourth strand” of ancient European ancestry.

Mota cave -- this image shows an excavation of the rock cairn under which the burial was found. [Credit: Kathryn and John Arthur]
12 Oct 2015

New genome reveals higher Eurasian migration into ancient Africa

Researchers who uncovered a male skeleton in an Ethiopian cave have reported one of the first successful cases of sequencing the full genome of an ancient African, and their results make it clear that current African populations harbor significantly more Eurasian ancestry than previously thought, reshaping the way we interpret human history.

07 Oct 2015

Chimpanzees Shed Light on Origins of Human Walking

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking.

This is a digital reconstruction of the foot of Homo naledi.
CREDIT © Nature Communications
06 Oct 2015

Foot fossils of human relative illustrate evolutionary ‘messiness’ of bipedal walking

A new study on Homo naledi, the extinct human relative whose remains were discovered in a South African cave and introduced to the world last month, suggests that although its feet were the most human-like part of its body, H. naledididn’t use them to walk in the same way we do.

The Homo naledi hand and foot were uniquely adapted for both tree climbing and walking upright.
Peter Schmid and William Harcourt-Smith | Wits University
06 Oct 2015

The hand and foot of Homo naledi

The second set of papers related to the remarkable discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, have been published in scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.

26 Sep 2015

2-million-year-old fossils reveal hearing abilities of early humans

Research into human fossils dating back to approximately two million years ago reveals that the hearing pattern resembles chimpanzees, but with some slight differences in the direction of humans.

A field worker shows a fragment of a hominin tooth from Woranso-Mille, Afar, Ethiopia, one of 152 tooth fragments sampled for isotope analysis to find evidence of diet change. CREDIT :
Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
16 Sep 2015

Scientists report earlier date of shift in human ancestors’ diet

Millions of years ago, our primate ancestors turned from trees and shrubs to search for food on the ground. In human evolution, that has made all the difference.

Image Credit : Cueva del Ángel
15 Sep 2015

Cave of the Angel: Discoveries of a half a million year old Spanish Cave

On the 1st of September 2015, archaeologist, Cecilio Barroso sat before local spanish press at Lucena City Hall to announce the latest discoveries made at a cave in the outskirts of the small town in southern Spain.

Crania lateral. cc John Hawks_Wits University
11 Sep 2015

New species of human relative discovered in S.A. cave

The discovery of a new species of human relative was announced today, 10 September 2015, by the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University), the National Geographic Society and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF).

CU Denver Anthropologist Charles Musiba in the lab examining bone fragments. Musiba was part of a team that recently discovered a new species of hominin in South Africa. CREDIT: Matthew Kasakavitch
10 Sep 2015

New species of hominin discovered

new species of hominin

Antillothrix bones and skull are displayed.
CREDIT : Journal of Human Evolution
07 Sep 2015

The million year old monkey: New evidence confirms the antiquity of fossil primate

An international team of scientists have dated a species of fossil monkey found across the Caribbean to just over 1 million years old.

03 Sep 2015

Study reveals human body has gone through four stages of evolution

Research into 430,000-year-old fossils collected in northern Spain found that the evolution of the human body’s size and shape has gone through four main stages, according to a paper published this week.

OH 86: Nature Communications (Creative Commons License)
28 Aug 2015

The secret of a 1.84 million year old finger bone

The Oldupai Gorge, the most famous gash in the earth of northern Tanzania. First discovered in 1911, this gorge became the backdrop for some of the most iconic hominin discoveries.

This is an illustration of Gueragama sulamerica, by Julius Csotonyi.
Credit : Julius Csotonyi
27 Aug 2015

Fossil remains of an Old World lizard overturn long-held hypothesis of lizard evolution

University of Alberta paleontologists have discovered a new species of lizard, namedGueragama sulamericana, in the municipality of Cruzeiro do Oeste in Southern Brazil in the rock outcrops of a Late Cretaceous desert, dated approximately 80 million years ago.

Here is a comparison of morphology in UW 88-886 (left), P. angusticepts males (CO 100, center), and P. izodi males (TP 89-11-1, right). Credit : Wits University
19 Aug 2015

Earliest baboon found at Malapa

A team from Wits University’s Evolutionary Studies Institute has discovered a fossil monkey specimen representing the earliest baboon ever found.

Emory University anthropologist Jessica Thompson is at work in the field in Africa. She specializes in the study of what happens to bones after an animal dies. Credit : Photo courtesy Jessica Thompson.
17 Aug 2015

Marks on 3.4-million-year-old bones not due to trampling, analysis confirms

Marks on two 3.4 million-year-old animal bones found at the site of Dikika, Ethiopia, were not caused by trampling, an extensive statistical analysis confirms.

06 Aug 2015

Paleo diet: Big brains needed carbs

Understanding how and why we evolved such large brains is one of the most puzzling issues in the study of human evolution.

04 Aug 2015

New analysis suggests body size increase did not play a role in the origins of Homo genus

A new analysis of early hominin body size evolution led by a George Washington University professor suggests that the earliest members of the Homogenus (which includes our species, Homo sapiens) may not have been larger than earlier hominin species.

16 Jul 2015

Evolution of our mammalian ancestor’s ear bone

It has long been believed that the hearing bone called stapes, one of the smallest bones in ancestor of mammals, shows no differences between species.

05 Jul 2015

How our early ancestors turned disability into advantage

A new evolutionary theory explains how critically small populations of early humans survived, despite an increased chance of hereditary disabilities being passed to offspring.

Photo courtesy of Fred Spoor of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
03 Jul 2015

Ancient monkey brain revealed

The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature’s tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve before brain size in the primate family tree.

Credit : Erich Ferdinand
24 Jun 2015

Studies find early European had recent Neanderthal ancestor

In 2002, archaeologists discovered the jawbone of a human who lived in Europe about 40,000 years ago. Geneticists have now analyzed ancient DNA from that jawbone and learned that it belonged to a modern human whose recent ancestors included Neanderthals.