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Evolution & Human Origins

We bring you all the latest news and discoveries relating to human origins and evolution. The more fossils that are unearthed, the more researchers admit that there is much that is still unknown about the evolution of humans.

Devil's Gate Cave in far east Russia. (Yuriy Chernyavskiy/Creative Commons) Insert: A human skull found at Devil’s Gate Cave from 7,700 years ago. (Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology)

Study Reveals Stone Age Women Have Modern Relatives Living Nearby

A group of researchers studying 7700-year-old DNA found in a remote cave in Far East Russia suggest that the two women were related to people who live in this distant and bitterly cold corner of Asia...
Baboon Sounds May Hold the Key to Understanding the Formation of Human Language

Baboon Sounds May Hold the Key to Understanding the Formation of Human Language

A new study proposes that baboon grunts and barks might have more in common with human speech than most people believe. Researchers have noted that these monkeys routinely produce five of the...
Are you a Righty or Lefty? Ancient Teeth and Tools May Explain the Evolution of Handedness

Are you a Righty or Lefty? Ancient Teeth and Tools May Explain the Evolution of Handedness

Caroline Spry/ The Conversation Roughly 90% of humans are right-handed and this is one of the traits that separates us from most other primates who don’t really show any overall preference for left...
Ancient Human Ancestors Ate Raw Meat and Insects, But They Cleaned Their Teeth

Ancient Human Ancestors Ate Raw Meat and Insects, But They Cleaned Their Teeth

New research conducted by scientists at the University of York and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona reveals for the first time that Europe’s earliest humans did not use fire for cooking, but had...
3.6-Million-Year-Old Footprints Imply That an Ancient Hominin Was a Tall, Dominant, and Polygamous Male

3.6-Million-Year-Old Footprints Imply That an Ancient Hominin Was a Tall, Dominant, and Polygamous Male

Footprints belonging to a group of early hominins who lived 3.6 million years ago were recently uncovered in Tanzania. The footprints indicate Australopithecus afarensis probably had a gorilla-like...
Jersey was a Must-See Tourist Destination for Neanderthals for Over 100,000 Years

Jersey was a Must-See Tourist Destination for Neanderthals for Over 100,000 Years

New research led by the University of Southampton shows Neanderthals kept coming back to a coastal cave site in Jersey from at least 180,000 years ago until around 40,000 years ago. As part of a re-...
How (Most) Humans Lost Their Tails - From Fish to Tetrapods to Apes to Homo Sapiens

How (Most) Humans Lost Their Tails - From Fish to Tetrapods to Apes to Homo Sapiens

Did you know that human embryos early in development have tails that later fail to grow for a lack of signaling from the genes? We end up with the coccyx at the end of our spines that protrudes a bit...
Evidence of Unknown Extinct Human Relative Found in DNA Study of Melanesians

Evidence of Unknown Extinct Human Relative Found in DNA Study of Melanesians

Traces of long-lost human cousins may be hiding in modern people’s DNA, a new computer analysis suggests. People from Melanesia, a region in the South Pacific encompassing Papua New Guinea and...
Neanderthal

Ancient Human History More Complex Than Previously Thought, Researchers Say

Relationships between the ancestors of modern humans and other archaic populations such as Neanderthals and Denisovans were likely more complex than previously thought, involving interbreeding within...
DNA Study Unravels Mystery Behind Origins of First Pacific Islanders

DNA Study Unravels Mystery Behind Origins of First Pacific Islanders

More than 3,000 years ago, a group of people set out from the Solomon Island chain in the southwestern edge of the Pacific Ocean and steered their outrigger canoes toward the horizon, with no land as...
How Breeding with an Ancient Human Species gave Tibetans their Head for Heights

How Breeding with an Ancient Human Species gave Tibetans their Head for Heights

A recent study of the DNA of Tibetans has looked at the gene underlying their ability to live in the low-oxygen conditions at high altitudes. It found that this gene has come from an unexpected...
DNA Study Finds Aboriginal Australians are Oldest Civilization in the World

DNA Study Finds Aboriginal Australians are Oldest Civilization in the World

Australia has one of the longest histories of continuous human occupation outside Africa. But who exactly were the first people to settle there? Such a question has obvious political implications and...
Ancient Jewelers: Scientists Confirm Body Ornamentation Belonged to Neanderthals

Ancient Jewelers: Scientists Confirm Body Ornamentation Belonged to Neanderthals

Researchers from the University of York have helped to solve an archaeological dispute -- confirming that Neanderthals were responsible for producing tools and artifacts previously argued by some to...
Humans Wiped Out the Hobbit: New Study Suggests Homo Sapiens Caused Extinction of Tiny Homo Floresiensis Species

Humans Wiped Out the Hobbit: New Study Suggests Homo Sapiens Caused Extinction of Tiny Homo Floresiensis Species

In October 2004, excavation of fragmentary skeletal remains from the island of Flores in Indonesia yielded what was called "the most important find in human evolution for 100 years." Its discoverers...
Smarter Brains Are Blood-Thirsty Brains

Smarter Brains Are Blood-Thirsty Brains

A University of Adelaide-led project has overturned the theory that the evolution of human intelligence was simply related to the size of the brain -- but rather linked more closely to the supply of...
The Death of Lucy: Has a 3.2 Million-Year-Old Mystery Finally Been Solved?

The Death of Lucy: Has a 3.2 Million-Year-Old Mystery Finally Been Solved?

Scientists analyzing the bones of the Australopithecus Afarensis skeleton known as ‘Lucy’ have suggested that she died from injuries sustained by falling from a tree. They say that fractures present...

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