For over a century, paleoanthropologists have been fascinated by a gory question: were Neanderthals cannibals? In recent years, we’ve found remains that suggest cannibalism did exist in various parts of southern Europe but new remains found in northern Europe add further evidence to the “yes” answer and tell us more…
We know that neanderthals and humans interbred, and that some people carry the genetic markers of that interbreeding. A new study looks at what it means to have neanderthal DNA—and researchers have found everything from a propensity for nicotine addiction to multiple genes affecting depression.
The oldest samples of Neanderthal DNA have been extracted from remains embedded in a cave in southern Italy, confirming that the so-called Altamura Man was a Neanderthal who lived around 150,000 years ago.
Archaeologists have identified a remarkable piece of Neanderthal jewelry comprised of eight white-tailed eagle talons. Worn 130,000 years ago, the discovery shows that Neanderthals were capable of making sophisticated ornaments long before modern humans appeared on the scene.
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.
The world's oldest genome shows when our ancestors had sex with Neanderthals. Analysis of a 45,000 year-old femur shows that modern humans and Neanderthals mated 52,000 to 58,000 years ago — a much smaller window than previously estimated (a 49,000 year span). It's the oldest-known human genome ever sequenced,…
They made jewelry, buried their dead, and left behind haunting abstract paintings on the walls of their caves. Now a new finding in Gibraltar, one of the last regions of the world where Neanderthals survived, is further evidence that Neanderthals had a recognizably human culture.
We may think of pigeons as "flying rats," but research published today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that their wild counterparts were an important source of nutrition for some Neanderthals.
Around sixty-seven thousand years ago, someone ate a Rock dove. In doing so, that individual began an association between a primate and a bird that would persist up until the present.
The paleontologist known only as Yusra has been missing since the 1940s. And yet she's responsible for finding one of the world's most important early human fossils. We're still trying to piece together what happened to her.
The recent discovery of 50,000-year-old human faecal remains in a Spanish cave shows that Neanderthals, in addition to consuming meat, ate lots of vegetables. It's the best proof yet that Neanderthals were omnivores — a diet that modern paleo-eaters will find very familiar.
Anthropologists working in a Spanish cave have discovered 17 skulls belonging to what appears to be an early form of Neanderthal. Surprisingly, these hominids had a relatively small brain case — which means Neanderthals evolved their big brains independent of our common ancestor.
Boiling water is as easy as they say—even without pots and pans. Thanks to the laws of physics, you can put a flame up to a paper cup or plastic bag, and water will boil without scorching the container. A paleontologist is speculating that Neanderthals cooked their meat in birch bark trays or skin bags using the same…
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.
A gene variant that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in Latin Americans may have been inherited from Neanderthals. People who carry the higher risk version of the gene, named SLC16A11, are 25% more likely to have diabetes than those who do not, and 50% more likely if both parents have it. Yet another thing we…
It's easy to think that Neanderthals were dumb brutes, incapable of complex speech like us. But it turns out that a Neanderthal's hyoid — a small bone in the neck that supports the tongue and is crucial for speech — worked in a very similar way to your own hyoid. Does this mean they could talk like (and with!) humans?
From intergalactic neutrinos and invisible brains, to the creation of miniature human "organoids," 2013 was a remarkable year for scientific discovery. Here are 17 of the biggest scientific breakthroughs, innovations and advances of 2013.
Call it the Pleistocene hanky panky chart. Now that scientists have sequenced a complete Neanderthal genome, we have more evidence than ever that early Homo sapiens had children with Neanderthals and Denisovans tens of thousands of years ago.