For the next month, the Journal of Zoology's special issue on paleoethology (the study of how extinct species behaved) is totally free to read (and download).
Who needs a fascinatingly creep-ball cartoon to kick off October? We're going to veto the lone dissenter in the peanut gallery because Hominid — this short animation by director Brian Andrews — is icky in all the right ways. In addition to this short, Andrews creates composite photography (which can be seen here) that…
When a chimpanzee goes to sleep, it first has to build a "nest", which allows it to sleep safely up in the trees. Strangely, chimpanzees also build nests when sleeping on the ground, which might reveal a secret about human evolution.
Over the past decade, you may have noticed more and more articles referring to "hominins" rather than "hominids." Just why are Homo sapiens and her ancestors now called hominins? The answer isn't just semantic — it has to do with a revolution in the way evolutionary biologists perceive humans' place in the tree of…
Millions of years ago, Europe was a vast savanna full of giraffes, elephants, and rhinos. There was also at least one hominid ape, according to a fossilized tooth recently discovered in Bulgaria. Meet the latest complication in our evolutionary story.
For early hominid hunters, there was no greater prize than an elephant. Kill just one of those, and a tribe could eat well for days. But when the elephants suddenly disappeared, something remarkable happened: Our hominid ancestors became more intelligent.
They're not as closely related to us as chimps and gorillas, but we share something crucial with orangutans: we both evolved to survive long periods without decent food. And that shared past could help explain our modern obesity epidemic.
Three million years ago, a gene mutation switched off a sugar-making enzyme in early hominids. Our ancestors actually became unable to breed with those who still had the enzyme, possibly causing the emergence of our evolutionary grandparent, Homo erectus.
The evidence has been mounting for years that early humans and Neanderthals interbred, but now it's pretty much a certainty. Part of the X chromosome found in people from outside Africa originally comes from our Neanderthal cousins.
Could another species someday replace us as Earth's dominant intelligent life and, if so, which species? To answer that question, we need to understand just what intelligence really is. And why, from an evolutionary standpoint, an organism would even want it.
Human babies are, relative to the size of their mothers, about twice as big as chimpanzee babies. Our evolutionary growth spurt might have forced mothers to give up living in the trees, changing human social dynamics forever.
With recent news that Neandertals painted, and proto-human homo erectus sailed to Europe on boats, this is the week for hominid power. In that spirit, let's take a look at a subgenre of science fiction where Neanderthals never went extinct.