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.

01 Jun 2015

Chronology of modern human dispersal into Europe

New high precision radiocarbon dates of mollusc shells show that modern humans occupied the Near East at least 45,900 years ago and colonized Europe from there.

27 May 2015

New human ancestor species from Ethiopia lived alongside Lucy’s species

A new relative joins “Lucy” on the human family tree. An international team of scientists, led by Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, has discovered a 3.3 to 3.5 million-year-old new human ancestor species.

29 Apr 2015

Not much size difference between male and female Australopithecines

Lucy and other members of the early hominid species Australopithecus afarensis probably were similar to humans in the size difference between males and females, according to researchers from Penn State and Kent State University.

16 Apr 2015

Palaeolithic remains prove cannibalistic habits of human ancestors

Analysis of ancient cadavers recovered at a famous archaeological site confirm the existence of a sophisticated culture of butchering and carving human remains, according to a team of scientists from the Natural History Museum, University College London, and a number of Spanish universities.

09 Apr 2015

Two ancient human fossils from Laos reveal early human diversity

An ancient human skull and a jawbone found a few meters away in a cave in northern Laos add to the evidence that early modern humans were physically quite diverse, researchers report in PLOS ONE.

01 Apr 2015

New instrument dates old skeleton; ‘Little Foot’ 3.67 million years old

A skeleton named Little Foot is among the oldest hominid skeletons ever dated at 3.67 million years old, according to an advanced dating method.

31 Mar 2015

Humans have always come in different shapes and sizes

Tübingen researchers show that even our earliest ancestors varied in build

31 Mar 2015

The stapes of a neanderthal child points to the anatomical differences with our species

The Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia between 230,000 and 28,000 years ago; during the last few millennia they coincided with Homo Sapiens Sapiens, and became extinct for reasons that are still being challenged.

27 Mar 2015

Earliest humans had diverse range of body types, just as we do today

One of the dominant theories of our evolution is that our genus, Homo, evolved from small-bodied early humans to become the taller, heavier and longer legged Homo erectus that was able to migrate beyond Africa and colonise Eurasia.

10 Mar 2015

Ancient fossils reveal diversity in the body structure of human ancestors

Recently released research on human evolution has revealed that species of early human ancestors had significant differences in facial features.

05 Mar 2015

Earliest known fossil of the genus Homo dates to 2.8 to 2.75 million years ago

The earliest known record of the genus Homo — the human genus — represented by a lower jaw with teeth, recently found in the Afar region of Ethiopia, dates to between 2.8 and 2.75 million years ago, according to an international team of geoscientists and anthropologists.

03 Mar 2015

The precise dating of ancient charcoal found near a skull is helping reveal a unique period in prehistory

A partial human skull unearthed in 2008 in northern Israel may hold some clues as to when and where humans and Neanderthals might have interbred.

26 Feb 2015

Drilling ancient African lakes sheds light on human evolution

How was human evolution and migration influenced by past changes in climate?

19 Feb 2015

Neanderthal groups based part of the their lifestyle on the sexual division of labor

Neanderthal communities divided some of their tasks according to their sex.

17 Feb 2015

Down syndrome theory on Hobbit species doesn’t hold to scrutiny

Claims that bones found in an Indonesian cave are not the remains of a new species of extinct hominin but more likely modern humans suffering from a chromosomal disorder have been disputed by a new look at the evidence.

05 Feb 2015

Neanderthals disappeared from the Iberian Peninsula before the rest of Europe

Until a few months ago different scientific articles, including those published in ‘Nature’, dated the disappearance of the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) from Europe at around 40,000 years ago.

23 Dec 2014

Scientists discover oldest stone tool ever found in Turkey

Scientists have discovered the oldest recorded stone tool ever to be found in Turkey, revealing that humans passed through the gateway from Asia to Europe much earlier than previously thought, approximately 1.2 million years ago.

16 Dec 2014

What was the ‘Paleo diet’? There was far more than one, study suggests

The Paleolithic diet, or caveman diet, a weight-loss craze in which people emulate the diet of plants and animals eaten by early humans during the Stone Age, gives modern calorie-counters great freedom because those ancestral diets likely differed substantially over time and space, according to researchers at Georgia State University and Kent State University.

17 Nov 2014

Ancient DNA sheds light on the origin of Europeans

Much of the evidence of where the first Europeans came from was originally derived from comparisons of skulls but our work looking at ancient DNA is revealing new insight, with results published this month in Science.

27 Aug 2014

Neanderthals ‘overlapped’ with modern humans for up to 5,400 years

Neanderthals and modern humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years, according to a new paper published in the journal, Nature. For the first time, scientists have constructed a robust timeline showing when the last Neanderthals died out.

26 Aug 2014

SA’s Taung Child’s skull and brain not human-like in expansion

The Taung Child, South Africa’s premier hominin discovered 90 years ago by Wits University Professor Raymond Dart, never seizes to transform and evolve the search for our collective origins.

Late archaic human temporal bone from northern China with the extracted temporal labyrinth : Washington University in St. Louis
07 Jul 2014

Discovery of Neandertal trait in ancient skull raises new questions about human evolution

Modern humans emerged from a complex ‘labyrinth of biology and peoples,’ findings suggest

09 Jun 2014

Did violence shape our faces?

What contributed to the evolution of faces in the ape-like ancestors of humans? The prehistoric version of a bar fight —over women, resources and other slug-worthy disagreements, new research from the University of Utah scheduled for publication in the journal Biological Reviews on June 9 suggests.

01 May 2014

Study questions Neandertal inferiority to early modern humans

Neandertal demise may be the result of interbreeding, assimilation, not early modern human superiority

22 Apr 2014

Evolutionary advantages over extinct types of humans

In parallel with modern man (Homo sapiens), there were other, extinct types of humans with whom we lived side by side, such as Neanderthals and the recently discovered Denisovans of Siberia. Yet only Homo sapiens survived. What was it in our genetic makeup that gave us the advantage?

22 Apr 2014

First Eurasians left Africa up to 130,000 years ago

A team of researchers led by the University of Tübingen’s Professor Katerina Harvati has shown that anatomically modern humans spread from Africa to Asia and Europe in several migratory movements.

14 Apr 2014

Neanderthals and Cro-magnons did not coincide on the Iberian Peninsula

A piece of research in which a UPV/EHU group is participating indicates that 1,000 years separate the records of the presence of the two species.

09 Apr 2014

Researchers say Neanderthals were no strangers to good parenting

Archaeologists at the University of York are challenging the traditional view that Neanderthal childhood was difficult, short and dangerous.

08 Apr 2014

Genome analysis confirms humans and Neandertals interbred

Technical objections to the idea that Neandertals interbred with the ancestors of Eurasians have been overcome, thanks to a genome analysis method described in the April 2014 issue of the journal GENETICS.

03 Apr 2014

‘Homo’ is the only primate whose tooth size decreases as its brain size increases

Andalusian researchers, led by the University of Granada, have discovered a curious characteristic of the members of the human lineage, classed as the genus Homo: they are the only primates where, throughout their 2.5-million year history, the size of their teeth has decreased alongside the increase in their brain size.

(c) John Cairns
17 Mar 2014

Paleo diet didn’t change – the climate did

Why were Neanderthals replaced by anatomically modern humans around 40,000 years ago?

14 Mar 2014

New stratigraphic research makes Little Foot the oldest complete Australopithecus

After 13 years of meticulous excavation of the nearly complete skeleton of the Australopithecus fossil named Little Foot, South African and French scientists have now convincingly shown that it is probably around 3 million years old

13 Feb 2014

Origins of Americas’ first humans

The genome of a child who died some 12,600 years ago in Montana – the oldest known human remains from North America – has been sequenced for the first time.

13 Feb 2014

America’s only Clovis skeleton had its genome mapped

They lived in America about 13,000 years ago where they hunted mammoth, mastodons and giant bison with big spears.

08 Feb 2014

Hominin Footprints from Early Pleistocene Discovered in UK

Investigations at Happisburgh, UK, have revealed the oldest known hominin footprint surface outside Africa at between ca. 1 million and 0.78 million years ago.

07 Feb 2014

Dating is refined for the Atapuerca site where Homo antecessor appeared

One of the issues of the Atapuerca sites that generates the most scientific debate is the dating of the strata.

29 Jan 2014

The genomic landscape of Neanderthal ancestry in present-day humans

More than thirty thousand years ago, Homo sapiens migrating out of Africa began encountering Neanderthal.

29 Jan 2014

Neanderthals’ genetic legacy

Remnants of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans are associated with genes affecting type 2 diabetes