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.

  • Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past
    on October 19, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that the saber-toothed cats shared a common ancestor with all living cat-like species about 20 million years ago. The two saber-toothed cat species under study diverged from each other about 18 million years ago. […]

  • Newfoundland populated multiple times by distinct groups, DNA evidence shows
    on October 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Researchers who've examined genetic evidence from mitochondrial DNA provide evidence that two groups of indigenous people in Canada, known as the Maritime Archaic and Beothuk, brought different matrilines to the island, adding further support to the notion that those groups had distinct population histories. […]

  • Last common ancestor of humans and apes weighed about five kilograms
    on October 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    New research suggests that the last common ancestor of apes -- including great apes and humans -- was much smaller than previously thought, about the size of a gibbon. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, are fundamental to understanding the evolution of the human family tree. […]

  • Evolutionary stepping stone to beet-red beets discovered
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Scientists describe an ancient loosening up of a key biochemical pathway that set the stage for the ancestors of beets to develop their characteristic red pigment. […]

  • Prehistoric humans are likely to have formed mating networks to avoid inbreeding
    on October 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Early humans seem to have recognized the dangers of inbreeding at least 34,000 years ago, and developed surprisingly sophisticated social and mating networks to avoid it, new research has found. […]

  • Meet the hominin species that gave us genital herpes
    on October 2, 2017 at 2:53 am

    New research uses innovative data modeling to predict which species acted as an intermediary between our ancestors and those of chimpanzees to carry HSV2 -- the genital herpes virus -- across the species barrier. […]

  • New clues from brain structures of mantis shrimp
    on September 29, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    New research sheds new light on the evolution of some of the earliest brain structures, and stirs up new, intriguing questions about the origins of centers that support learning and memory. […]

  • Modern humans emerged more than 300,000 years ago new study suggests
    on September 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    A genomic analysis of ancient human remains from KwaZulu-Natal revealed that southern Africa has an important role to play in writing the history of humankind. […]

  • Ancient DNA data fills in thousands of years of human prehistory in Africa
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    By sequencing the ancient genomes of 15 individuals from different parts of Africa, researchers reporting in the journal Cell on Sept. 21 have reconstructed the prehistory of humans on the continent, going back thousands of years. The findings shed light on which human populations lived in eastern and southern Africa between 8,000 and 1,000 years ago, the researchers say. […]

  • Reconstructing how Neanderthals grew, based on an El Sidrón child
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    How did Neanderthals grow? Does modern man develop in the same way as Homo neanderthalensis did? How does the size of the brain affect the development of the body? Researchers have studied the fossil remains of a Neanderthal child's skeleton in order to establish whether there are differences between the growth of Neanderthals and that of sapiens. […]

  • Dino-killing asteroid's impact on bird evolution
    on September 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Human activities could change the pace of evolution, similar to what occurred 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving modern birds as their only descendants. […]

  • 3-D analysis of dog fossils sheds light on domestication debate
    on September 20, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    In an effort to settle the debate about the origin of dog domestication, a technique that uses 3-D scans of fossils is helping researchers determine the difference between dogs and wolves. […]

  • Humans no longer have ancient defense mechanism against viruses
    on September 15, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Insects and plants have an important ancient defense mechanism that helps them to fight viruses. This is encoded in their DNA. Scientists have long assumed that vertebrates -- including humans -- also had this same mechanism. But researchers have found that vertebrates lost this particular asset in the course of their evolution. […]

  • When ancient fossil DNA isn't available, ancient glycans may help trace human evolution
    on September 11, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Researchers have discovered a new kind of glycan (sugar chain) that survives even in a 4-million-year-old animal fossil from Kenya, under conditions where ancient DNA does not. While ancient hominin fossils are not yet available for glycan analysis, this proof-of-concept study sets the stage for unprecedented explorations of human origins and diet. […]

  • Fossil footprints challenge established theories of human evolution
    on August 31, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Newly discovered human-like footprints from Crete may put the established narrative of early human evolution to the test. The footprints are approximately 5.7 million years old and were made at a time when previous research puts our ancestors in Africa -- with ape-like feet. […]

  • How Neanderthals made the very first glue
    on August 31, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    The world's oldest known glue was made by Neanderthals. But how did they make it 200,000 years ago? Archaeologists have discovered three possible ways. […]

  • Inherited herpesvirus study finds links to ancient humans
    on August 30, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Research into inherited human herpesvirus 6 identifies origins in a small number of people thousands of years ago and highlights the potential to 'reactivate.' […]

  • You and some 'cavemen' get a genetic checkup
    on August 23, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Evolution has weeded out genetic variants associated with diseases for millennia and propagated variants that protect against ailments, a comparative genetics study shows. But in the last 500 to 1,000 years that trend appears to have changed. Is the apparent reversal in genetic health underpinnings real? Or an odd coincidence in the early data set of this very new research field? […]

  • 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. […]