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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.

Reproduction of Homo neanderthalensis. Museum of Human Evolution (MEH), Burgos, Spain.

Confirmed: The Hominins Found at Atapuerca are the Earliest Genetic Evidence of Neanderthals to Date

After decades of study and many assumptions, the analysis of nuclear DNA has finally confirmed the evolutionary lineage of the inhabitants of the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain. For some time,...
Mysterious Chimpanzee Behavior May Be Evidence of ‘Sacred’ Rituals

Mysterious Chimpanzee Behavior May Be Evidence of ‘Sacred’ Rituals

I trampled clumsily through the dense undergrowth, attempting in vain to go a full five minutes without getting snarled in the thorns that threatened my every move. It was my first field mission in...
A reconstructed Neanderthal skeleton, right, is displayed next to a modern human skeleton at the Museum of Natural History in New York.

Neanderthals Mated with Modern Humans Much Earlier than Previously Thought, Study Finds

Using several different methods of DNA analysis, an international research team has found what they consider to be strong evidence of an interbreeding event between Neanderthals and modern humans...
A model of a female Homo floresiensis.

Study Says that Hobbits of Flores Island Are Not Homo Sapiens

The question about the origins of Homo floresiensis has been one of the most important problems of modern science since 2003, when a team of Australian and Indonesian researchers excavated some 18,...
The new study says that Neanderthal DNA influences many physical traits in people of European and Asian heritage.

Study Casts New Light on Diseases We Inherited from Neanderthals

Feeling depressed? Can’t kick the tobacco habit? Sun causing skin lesions? Allergies bothering you? Some people of today may blame their Neanderthal ancestry in part for some of these health problems...
‘The Stone Age’ (1882-1885), detail of a painting by Viktor M. Vasnetsov.

Why Did Hunter-gatherer Group in Europe Unexpectedly Disappear After the Last Ice Age?

A recent study has shown that a group of hunter-gatherers had survived the last Ice Age while living in the modern location of Europe, only to unexpectedly disappear about 14,500 years ago. As the...
A family migrating to western US in 1886.

Here’s How Genetics Helped Crack the History of Human Migration

Over the past 25 years, scientists have supported the view that modern humans left Africa around 50,000 years ago, spreading to different parts of the world by replacing resident human species like...
‘Le Moustier Neanderthals, AMNH.’ (1920) By Charles Robert Knight.

Improving Our First Line of Defense: Neanderthal Genes

Our close cousins the Neanderthal and Denosivan people interbred with Homo sapiens and gave us genes that help us fight off infections, according to two new studies coming out this month...
Reconstruction of the Iceman. Prehistory Museum of Quinson, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France.

Stomach Troubles for the Iceman: How Otzi Continues to Provide Information About the Past

Ötzi, the Copper Age man, continues to tell tales of our homo sapien past. Now, an international team of scientists including paleopathologist Albert Zink and microbiologist Frank Maixner from the...
Neolithic farmers

New Study Indicates that Europe Owes Ancestry and Agriculture to Early Anatolian Farmers

Anatolia was a source of not just agriculture but of human ancestry during the advent of farming in Europe around 8,000 years ago, according to a researcher from Stockholm University. “When farming...
The skull of the Neolithic woman excavated in 1855 in Ballynahatty, Northern Ireland.

Researchers Reveal How a Celtic Curse Fell Upon the Ancient Irish 4000 Years Ago and the Importance of Migration to Irish Prehistory

While researchers were analyzing the genes of prehistoric Irish ancestors they discovered that the beginning of a “Celtic Curse” (haemochromatosis) probably arose 4,000 years ago with a wave of...
Artist’s reconstruction of a Red Deer Cave man.

Bone suggests Red Deer Cave people were a mysterious species of human

It has been an exciting year for human evolution with several discoveries dramatically rewriting major episodes of our ancient past. Some of this progress stems from major advances in fields like...
Researchers say these horses, which seem so well attuned to the harsh cold with thick, dense winter coats, their armour against temperatures of minus 70C (minus 94F), are incomers that only arrived in these parts within the last 800 years.

Truly Amazing Scientific Discovery on Adaptation of Yakutian Horses to Cold

The resilient Yakutian horses are one of the great native sights of the Sakha Republic - or Yakutia. In their way as much a part of the classic Siberian scenery as permafrost, extinct woolly mammoths...
Ancient European hunters face an Uro (European bison).

8000 Years of European Evolution Disclosed by Genome Study

Through the analysis of 230 samples of prehistoric genome, scientists believe they have identified the genes that gave rise to the European Neolithic revolution - with the transition from hunting and...
The toothy smiles of the hobbit skull (left) and a modern human skull (right).

A Telling Smile: Tooth Variation Shows Hobbit was Entirely Separate Human Species

A big debate over a little person is getting a new perspective after recent analysis of prehistoric teeth. Scientists now suggest that the remains of Homo floresiensis , popularly known as the Hobbit...
Denisova Cave, Russia. Inset: Denisovan molar discovered in Denisova Cave, Replica in Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels, Belgium.

DNA from Ancient Denisovan Tooth Sheds Light on Mysterious Human Relative

The Denisovans are a mysterious hominid species that we only know about from two molar teeth and the bone of a pinky finger discovered in the remote Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia...

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