New research shows that all present-day non-Africans can trace their origins to a single wave of migrants who left Africa 72,000 years ago, and that indigenous Australians and Papuans are descended directly from the first people to inhabit the continent some 50,000 years ago. That makes them world’s longest running…
The world’s most famous human ancestor, an extinct hominid named Lucy, died after falling from a tall tree, according to scientists. It’s a revelation that points to tree-dwelling behavior in recent evolutionary history, but some scientists aren’t convinced.
Archaeologists have discovered a treasure trove of ancient stone tools at a dig near Azraq, Jordan, some of which still contain traces of animal residue. A number of food items on this bona fide paleolithic menu will be familiar to the modern eater, while others, well, not so much.
A new paper suggests that Neanderthals, unlike humans, never figured out how to make coats to stay warm, and that the absence of this technological innovation contributed to their eventual demise. It’s an intriguing theory, but there’s more to the story of Neanderthal extinction than the absence of parkas.
The basic structure of the human brain has remained essentially unaltered for tens of thousands of years, but the information processed within it has changed dramatically over time. Today, we require an entirely new set of skills to get by, but at the expense of our ancient know-how. Here are some essential skills…
Let’s say someone successfully cloned human ancestors. Then what? Are they like chimps, to be put in a zoo or a nature reserve? Do they need carers? Should we enroll them in kindergarten? What do fossils tell us about how early humans would fit in with modern ones?
This jawbone pushes back the evolutionary origins of our genus by nearly half a million years, researchers reported today.
It's widely acknowledged that modern Europeans mated with Neanderthals at some point in the past. We're just not entirely sure when or where. The recent discovery of an ancient skull in Israel may represent the critical missing link anthropologists have been looking for.
For centuries we've celebrated events by throwing stuff at each other: leaves, flowers, candy, rice and colorful strips of paper. But how did this tradition start? A fascinating article on the history of confetti reveals how this act of revelry might have had violent beginnings.
The new study "How do you kill 86 mammoths? Taphonomic investigations of mammoth megasites" proposes that one possible way for early humans to kill mammoths was with the beginnings of what would become man's best friend.
Evidence has been piling up for a while that early humans in Europe had children with the Neanderthals who had been living there for probably 500 thousand years before humans arrived. Very few Neanderthal genes are left in humans today, so what difference does it make? A lot, both genetically and philosophically.
For the very first time, scientists have produced genetic evidence that today's indigenous North and South Americans are all descended from a single population that trekked across the Bering land bridge from Asia.
Archaeologists working at Qusem Cave in Israel have uncovered a 300,000 year-old hearth. It's the earliest evidence of repeated fire building over a continuous period by humans.
An ancient skull found in a cave in the Annamite Mountains in northern Laos has revised our conceptions of when humans first occupied Southeast Asia and Australia. The skull, which is the oldest modern human fossil ever discovered in that part of the world, shows that ancient humans inhabited diverse habitats far…
We hear a lot, in science fiction, about things that now serve us but will soon kill us. Like robots. But what about the reverse — things that used to kill us in droves, but now serve us?
Scientists developed an experiment that reveals whether our long-dead evolutionary cousins Neanderthals are right or left handed - just from dental records. They did it by relying on evidence from stone tools, and humankind's innate klutziness.
One of the traits that gave humans an evolutionary advantage was their ability to run for long distances. It helped humans catch energy-rich meat to grow big brains. It also looks like it helped us leave Neanderthals in the dust.
Blombos Cave in South Africa may have harbored a group of early humans whose tool-making techniques outpaced those of other groups by many thousands of years. Today scientists announced the discovery of more sophisticated tools from this unusually advanced civilization.
Meet Ida, the 47 million year old fossil who may represent one of our earliest known ancestors. She's probably the most complete primate fossil ever discovered, and she explains where humans (and lemurs) come from.