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.

  • 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. […]

  • Primitive hominid lived alongside modern humans
    on May 9, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Scientists have discovered that primitive hominids lived in Africa at the same time as humans -- the first time this has been established. […]

  • 'Humanlike' ways of thinking evolved 1.8 million years ago
    on May 8, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    By using highly advanced brain imaging technology to observe modern humans crafting ancient tools, a neuroarchaeologist has found evidence that human-like ways of thinking may have emerged as early as 1.8 million years ago. […]

  • Bonobos may be better representation of last common ancestor with humans than chimps
    on April 29, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    A new study examining the muscular system of bonobos provides firsthand evidence that the rare great ape species may be more closely linked, anatomically, to human ancestors than common chimpanzees. […]

  • DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments
    on April 27, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Researchers have developed a new method to retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments -- even in the absence of skeletal remains. […]

  • Origins of Indonesian Hobbits finally revealed
    on April 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed. […]

  • Genetic evidence points to nocturnal early mammals
    on April 20, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    New genetic evidence suggesting that early mammals had good night-time vision adds to fossil and behavioral studies indicating that early mammals were nocturnal. […]

  • The tale teeth tell about the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo
    on April 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Analysis of the microscopic wear on the teeth of the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo reveals that shortage of normal prey did not drive them to begin killing and eating people. […]

  • Distantly related fish find same evolutionary solution to dark water
    on April 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Changes in a single color-vision gene demonstrate convergent evolutionary adaptations in widely separated species and across vastly different time scales, according to a new study. The study, which combined genetic analysis with a 19-year-long selection experiment, supports the idea that the mechanisms of adaptive evolution may be more predictable than previously suspected. […]

  • Viral fossils reveal how our ancestors may have eliminated an ancient infection
    on April 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Scientists have uncovered how our ancestors may have wiped out an ancient retrovirus around 11 million years ago. […]

  • New DNA research shows true migration route of early farming in Europe 8,000 years ago
    on April 6, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    New DNA research shows true migration route of early farming in Europe 8,000 years ago, correcting previous theories. […]

  • 10,000 years of genetic continuity in northwest North America, study reveals
    on April 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    A study of the DNA in ancient skeletal remains adds to the evidence that indigenous groups living today in southern Alaska and the western coast of British Columbia are descendants of the first humans to make their home in northwest North America more than 10,000 years ago. […]

  • Prehistoric art and ornaments from Indonesian 'Ice Age'
    on April 3, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    A joint Indonesian-Australian team has unearthed a rare collection of prehistoric art and 'jewellery' objects from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, dating in some instances to as early as 30,000 years ago. […]

  • The late evolutionary event that gave rise to modern life
    on March 30, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    The emergence of oxygen-producing bacteria more than two billion years ago gave rise to life as we know it today, and now a new study reveals that this happening might have occurred multiple times. […]

  • Human skull evolved along with two-legged walking, study confirms
    on March 17, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    The evolution of bipedalism in fossil humans can be detected using a key feature of the skull -- a claim that was previously contested but now has been further validated by researchers. […]