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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.

Painting of Neanderthals by Charles Robert Knight, 1920

Neanderthal Group Cannibalized their Dead and Used Human Bones as Tools

Evidence shows Neanderthals were killing each other and eating the remains about 40,000 years ago in a cave in Belgium, new research shows. They apparently extracted marrow from the bones and used...
Inbred Neanderthals Left Humans with a Genetic Burden

Inbred Neanderthals Left Humans with a Genetic Burden

The Neanderthal genome included harmful mutations that made the hominids around 40% less reproductively fit than modern humans, according to estimates published in the latest issue of the journal...
The mammoth was found on the left bank of Yenisey river, not far from Sopochnaya Karga meterological station.

The smoking gun 'proving ancient man killed woolly mammoth 45,000 years ago'

By Anna Liesowska / Siberian Times When Science journal earlier this year highlighted an ancient woolly mammoth with suspected spear wounds it provoked media interest around the world. Until now, the...
2,500-Year-Old Phoenician DNA Linked to Rare and Ancient European Ancestry

2,500-Year-Old Phoenician DNA Linked to Rare and Ancient European Ancestry

Researchers have sequenced the first complete mitochondrial genome of an ancient Phoenician. The results of the studies of the remains of a man called the "Young Man of Byrsa" and "Ariche” has linked...
The Genetic History of Ice Age Europe

The Genetic History of Ice Age Europe

Analyses of ancient DNA from prehistoric humans paint a picture of dramatic population change in Europe from 45,000 to 7,000 years ago, according to a new study led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute...
An artist's impression of Neanderthal life.

Teeth vs. tools: Neanderthals and Homo sapiens had different dietary strategies

Over hundreds of thousands of years, the Neanderthal lineage developed successfully in western Eurasia and survived severe fluctuations between colder and warmer climactic cycles of the Ice Age. The...
Imaginative depiction of the Stone Age, by Viktor Vasnetsov.

Just a Few Men Controlled Reproduction in Prehistory and Dominate World Genetics Today

A new genetic study of male ancestry shows there were periods in human prehistory when just a few elite men controlled reproduction. For example, one man about 190,000 years ago was the ancestor of 1...
Homo erectus Skull Discovered in Central Java Provides More Evidence for Ancient Hominids in the Area

Homo erectus Skull Discovered in Central Java Provides More Evidence for Ancient Hominids in the Area

The skull of a Homo erectus has been found in the area near the Bojong River in Manyarejo village, Sragen, Central Java, Indonesia. It is the first discovery of a human fossil in this area in 80...
One Million Years of the Human Story at the Natural History Museum.

Bigger Brains Led to Bigger Bodies in Our Ancestors

New research suggests that humans became the large-brained, large-bodied animals we are today because of natural selection to increase brain size. The work, published in the journal Current...
Caravan on the Silk Road, 1380.

DNA Suggests Yiddish Began on the Silk Road

Amy Pullan-Sheffield For decades, linguists have questioned the origin of Yiddish, the millennium-old language of Ashkenazic Jews. Now, the Geographic Population Structure (GPS), which converts DNA...
Neanderthals May have been Infected by Diseases carried out of Africa by Humans, say Researchers

Neanderthals May have been Infected by Diseases carried out of Africa by Humans, say Researchers

A review of the latest genetic evidence suggests infectious diseases are tens of thousands of years older than previously thought, and that they could jump between species of ‘hominin’. Researchers...
An artist’s depiction of a family of Neanderthals.

Humans and Neanderthals Branched off 600,000 years ago Due to an Incompatible Y Chromosome

Neanderthals and humans branched off about 600,000 years ago, possibly because of genetic incompatibility in the context of the Y chromosome, a team of researchers has announced. There was some...
New Research Asserts that the Hobbits of Indonesia Vanished Earlier than Previously Believed

New Research Asserts that the Hobbits of Indonesia Vanished Earlier than Previously Believed

The pint-sized Homo floresiensis, nicknamed Hobbits, may have met their demise much earlier than previously believed. Recent research suggests that they lived around 50,000 years ago and not between...
Denisovan cave (CC BY-SA 4,0)

Where in the World are our Neanderthal and Denisovan Ancestors?

Most non-Africans possess at least a little bit Neanderthal DNA. But a new map of archaic ancestry--published March 28 in Current Biology--suggests that many bloodlines around the world, particularly...
A reconstruction of a male of our evolutionary cousin the Neanderthals (Modified from an image by Cicero Moraes).

A Golden Age of Ancient DNA Science Begins

If I had taken a straw poll among anthropologists 10 years ago asking them how far genetic research would come in the next decade, I doubt anyone would have come close to predicting the big impact...
Main: A DNA molecule (C. Bock/Wikimedia Commons). Inset: Two Melanesian girls

Ancient Denisovan DNA discovered in modern Pacific Islanders

The archaic Denisovan and Neanderthal DNA that persists in modern individuals from the Pacific islands of Melanesia could be a source of new information about early human history, according to a...

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