Early Humans

Early Humans News -- ScienceDaily Read about early humans in this anthropology news section. Early human development, early human migration, culture and more. Photos.

  • Origins of DNA folding suggested in archaea
    on August 10, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Proteins in archaea bend strands of DNA in a way that's similar in eukaryotes, new research reveals. That similarity hints at the evolutionary origin of the elaborate folding that eukaryotic cells use to cram their genome into a nucleus. […]

  • Ancient DNA used to track Mesa Verde exodus in 13th century
    on August 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Ancient DNA used to track the mass exodus of Ancestral Pueblo people from Colorado's Mesa Verde region in the late 13th century indicates many wound up in the Northern Rio Grande area north of Santa Fe, N.M., inhabited today by the Tewa Pueblo people. […]

  • Arrival of modern humans in Southeast Asia questioned
    on August 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Humans may have exited out of Africa and arrived in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier than previously thought, a new study suggests. Findings also suggest humans could have potentially made the crossing to Australia even earlier than the accepted 60,000 to 65,000 years ago. […]

  • New 13-million-year-old infant skull sheds light on ape ancestry
    on August 9, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    A new discovery in Kenya of a remarkably complete fossil ape skull reveals what the common ancestor of all living apes and humans may have looked like. […]

  • New look at archaic DNA rewrites human evolution story
    on August 7, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    A new method for analyzing DNA sequence data has been developed to reconstruct early history of archaic human populations, revealing an evolutionary story that contradicts conventional wisdom about modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans. They found that Neanderthal-Denisovan lineage nearly went extinct after separating from modern humans. Just 300 generations later, Neanderthals and Denisovans diverged around 744,000 years ago. The global Neanderthal population grew to tens of thousands of individuals living in fragmented, isolated populations. […]

  • Origin of human genus may have occurred by chance
    on August 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    An often cited claim that humans, who are smarter and more technologically advanced than their ancestors, originated in response to climate change is challenged in a new report. […]

  • On the early human's menu: Mammoth and plenty of raw vegetables
    on August 4, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Scientists have studied the diet of anatomically modern humans, and are able to refute the theory that the diet of early representatives of Homo sapiens was more flexible than that of Neanderthals. Just like the Neanderthals, our ancestors had mainly mammoth and plants on their plates. The researchers were unable to document fish as part of their diet. Therefore, the international team assumes that the displacement of the Neanderthals was the result of direct competition. […]

  • Genome sequencing shows spiders, scorpions share ancestor
    on August 1, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Researchers have discovered a whole genome duplication during the evolution of spiders and scorpions. […]

  • Cultural flexibility was key for early humans to survive extreme dry periods in southern Africa
    on July 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    The early human techno-tradition, known as Howiesons Poort, associated with Homo sapiens who lived in southern Africa about 66,000 to 59,000 years ago indicates that during this period of pronounced aridification they developed cultural innovations that allowed them to significantly enlarge the range of environments they occupied. […]

  • 'Residual echo' of ancient humans in scans may hold clues to mental disorders
    on July 26, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Researchers have produced the first direct evidence that parts of our brains implicated in mental disorders may be shaped by a 'residual echo' from Neanderthal DNA in our genomes. Evidence from MRI scans suggests that such ancient genetic variation may affect the way our brains work today -- and may hold clues to understanding deficits seen in schizophrenia and autism-related disorders. […]

  • In saliva, clues to a 'ghost' species of ancient human
    on July 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    In saliva, scientists have found hints that a 'ghost' species of archaic humans may have contributed genetic material to ancestors of people living in sub-Saharan Africa today. The research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that sexual rendezvous between different archaic human species may not have been unusual. […]

  • Artifacts suggest humans arrived in Australia earlier than thought
    on July 19, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Archeologists have found and dated artifacts in northern Australia that indicate humans arrived there about 65,000 years ago -- more than 10,000 years earlier than previously thought. […]

  • DNA of early Neanderthal gives timeline for new modern human-related dispersal from Africa
    on July 5, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Ancient mitochondrial DNA from the femur of an archaic European hominin is helping resolve the complicated relationship between modern humans and Neanderthals. The genetic data provides a timeline for a proposed migration out of Africa that occurred after the ancestors of Neanderthals arrived in Europe by a lineage more closely related to modern humans. […]

  • Genetic evidence from the South Caucasus region shows surprising long-term stability
    on June 29, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    The South Caucasus -- home to the countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan -- geographically links Europe and the Near East. The area has served for millennia as a major crossroads for human migration, with strong archaeological evidence for big cultural shifts over time. And yet, surprisingly, ancient mitochondrial DNA evidence finds no evidence of any upheaval over the last 8,000 years. […]

  • Reconstruction of ancient chromosomes offers insight into mammalian evolution
    on June 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Researchers have gone back in time, at least virtually, computationally recreating the chromosomes of the first eutherian mammal, the long-extinct, shrewlike ancestor of all placental mammals. […]

  • Tiny fossils reveal backstory of the most mysterious amphibian alive
    on June 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    The fossils of an extinct species from the Triassic Period are the long-missing link that connects Kermit the Frog's amphibian brethren to wormlike creatures with a backbone and two rows of sharp teeth, new research shows. Named Chinlestegophis jenkinsi, the newfound fossil is the oldest relative of the most mysterious group of amphibians: caecilians. Today, these limbless, colorful serpentine carnivores live underground and range in size from 6 inches to 5 feet. […]

  • Animal evolution: Hot start, followed by cold shock
    on June 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    The initial phases of animal evolution proceeded faster than hitherto supposed: New analyses suggest that the first animal phyla emerged in rapid succession -- prior to the global Ice Age that set in around 700 million years ago. […]

  • Dawn of humanity: Neanderthal-Homo sapiens transition
    on June 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Archaeologists have provided a window into one of the most exciting periods in human history -- the transition between Neanderthals and modern humans. […]

  • Homo sapiens 100,000 years earlier: Ancestors' diet of game revealed
    on June 7, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    New fossil finds from Morocco do more than push back the origins of our species by 100,000 years. They also reveal what was on the menu for our oldest-known Homo sapiens ancestors 300,000 years ago: Plenty of gazelle. […]

  • Genetic study shakes up the elephant family tree
    on June 6, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    New research reveals that a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago -- ranging across Eurasia before it went extinct -- is more closely related to today's African forest elephant than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the African savanna elephant. Understanding elephant evolution is key to protecting present-day elephants from extinction, researchers say. […]

  • The first genome data from ancient Egyptian mummies
    on May 30, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    An international team has successfully recovered ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from approximately 1400 BCE to 400 CE, including the first genome-wide nuclear data, establishing ancient Egyptian mummies as a reliable of ancient DNA. The study found that modern Egyptians share more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians did. […]

  • Genomics tracks migration from lost empires to modern cities
    on May 28, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    New genomic tools are enabling researchers to overturn long-held beliefs about the origins of populations. Until recently, assumptions about origins were based on where people were buried, but this does not take into account the migrations that scientists now know took place thousands of years ago. […]

  • Knowledge gap on the origin of sex
    on May 26, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    There are significant gaps in our knowledge on the evolution of sex, according to a research review on sex chromosomes. Even after more than a century of study, researchers do not know enough about the evolution of sex chromosomes to understand how males and females emerge. […]

  • 7.2-million-year-old pre-human remains found in the Balkans
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Scientists analyzing 7.2 million-year-old fossils uncovered in modern-day Greece and Bulgaria suggest a new hypothesis about the origins of humankind, placing it in the Eastern Mediterranean and not -- as customarily assumed -- in Africa, and earlier than currently accepted. The researchers conclude that Graecopithecus freybergi represents the first pre-humans to exist following the split from the last chimpanzee-human common ancestor. […]

  • 3.3-million-year-old fossil reveals origins of the human spine
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Analysis of a 3.3 million-year-old fossil skeleton reveals the most complete spinal column of any early human relative, including vertebrae, neck and rib cage. The findings indicate that portions of the human spinal structure that enable efficient walking motions were established millions of years earlier than previously thought. […]

  • Tooth truth: Human teeth tell the story of humanity through our fragile relationship with the sun
    on May 18, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Researchers have developed a new method to read imperfections in teeth caused by a lack of sunlight, creating a powerful tool to trace events ranging from human evolution and migration out of Africa to the silent damage of vitamin D deficiency that continues to affect 1 billion worldwide. […]

  • Grassy beginning for earliest Homo
    on May 15, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Following the discovery of the Ledi-Geraru jaw, an environmental study of the eastern African Plio-Pleistocene was conducted to investigate the long-standing hypotheses that the transition from Australopithecus to Homo was linked to the spread of more open and arid environments. […]

  • 'Fingertip touch' clue to human ancestors exploiting treetop environments
    on May 10, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Research suggests that ancestral humans may have been more adept at negotiating unstable arboreal environment than previously thought. […]

  • South African cave yields yet more fossils of a newfound relative
    on May 9, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Probing deeper into the South African cave system known as Rising Star, which last year yielded the largest cache of hominin fossils known to science, an international team of researchers has discovered another chamber with more remains of a newfound human relative, Homo naledi. The discovery of the new fossils representing the remains of at least 3 juvenile and adult specimens includes a 'wonderfully complete skull,' says an anthropologist. […]

  • Homo naledi's surprisingly young age opens up more questions on where we come from
    on May 9, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Scientists today announced that the Rising Star Cave system has revealed yet more important discoveries, only a year and a half after it was announced that the richest fossil hominin site in Africa had been discovered, and that it contained a new hominin species named Homo naledi by the scientists who described it. […]