Human Evolution

Human Evolution News -- ScienceDaily Findings in human evolution. Read science articles on early humans, human and primate genetics and more. Articles and photos.

  • Human-like walking mechanics evolved before the genus Homo
    on April 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    A close examination of 3.6-million-year-old hominin footprints discovered in Laetoli, Tanzania, suggests our ancestors evolved the hallmark trait of extended leg, human-like bipedalism substantially earlier than previously thought. […]

  • Unprecedented wave of large-mammal extinctions linked to prehistoric humans
    on April 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and other recent human relatives may have begun hunting large mammal species down to size -- by way of extinction -- at least 90,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study. The magnitude and scale of the extinction wave surpassed any other recorded during the last 66 million years, according to the study. […]

  • Some human cancers are 'evolutionary accidents'
    on April 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    New research has found some type of cancers unique to humans may be a result of evolutionary accidents. […]

  • Surviving climate change, then and now
    on April 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    An archeological dig in Italy reveals that prehistoric humans made it through a major natural disaster by cooperating with each other -- and that's a lesson for our future. […]

  • The secret life of teeth: Evo-devo models of tooth development
    on April 11, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    A simple, straightforward developmental rule -- the 'patterning cascade' -- is powerful enough to explain the massive variability in molar crown configuration over the past 15 million years of ape and human evolution. […]

  • First human migration out of Africa more geographically widespread than previously thought
    on April 9, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Scientists have discovered a fossilized finger bone of an early modern human in the Nefud Desert of Saudi Arabia, dating to approximately 90,000 years ago. The discovery is the oldest directly dated Homo sapiens fossil outside of Africa and the Levant and indicates that early dispersals into Eurasia were more expansive than previously thought. […]

  • Large carnivores were scarce but very diverse in Europe more than one million years ago
    on April 5, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    The fauna of large carnivoran in Europe during the Early and Middle Pleistocene was extremely diverse, but the population densities of these species had to be very low, especially in comparison with the population densities of their current analogues in Africa. […]

  • Ancient origins of viruses discovered
    on April 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    New research has found that many of the viruses infecting us today have ancient evolutionary histories that date back to the first vertebrates and perhaps the first animals in existence. […]

  • Inner ear provides clues to human dispersal
    on April 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Slight differences can be found in the inner ear of different populations of modern humans. Paleoanthropologists have found that these differences can provide information about the global dispersal of humans from Africa. […]

  • 13,000-year-old human footprints found off Canada's Pacific coast
    on March 28, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Human footprints found off Canada's Pacific coast may be 13,000 years old, according to a new study. The finding adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the hypothesis that humans used a coastal route to move from Asia to North America during the last ice age. […]

  • Secrets of famous Neanderthal skeleton La Ferrassie 1 revealed
    on March 27, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Anthropologists have provided new insights on one of the most famous Neanderthal skeletons, discovered over 100 years ago: La Ferrassie 1. […]

  • Genomes of five late Neandertals provide insights into Neandertal population history
    on March 21, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Researchers have sequenced the genomes of five Neandertals that lived between 39,000 and 47,000 years ago. These late Neandertals are all more closely related to the Neandertals that contributed DNA to modern human ancestors than an older Neandertal from the Altai Mountains that was previously sequenced. Their genomes also provide evidence for a turnover in the Neandertal population towards the end of Neandertal history. […]

  • Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China
    on March 20, 2018 at 2:09 am

    An analysis of 115,000-year-old bone tools discovered in China suggests that the toolmaking techniques mastered by prehistoric humans there were more sophisticated than previously thought. […]

  • New understanding of Kenyan paleoenvironments opens window on human evolution in the area
    on March 16, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Interest in human evolution has stimulated new geological work in the southern rift valley of Kenya. A new article presents the results of more than 15 years of field research on complex strata representing the last 500,000 years of geological history in an active rift system. […]

  • Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline
    on March 15, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Scientists discovered that early humans in East Africa had -- by about 320,000 years ago -- begun trading with distant groups, using color pigments and manufacturing more sophisticated tools than those of the Early Stone Age, tens of thousands of years earlier than previous evidence has shown in eastern Africa. As earthquakes remodeled the landscape and climate fluctuated between wet and dry conditions, technological and social innovation would have helped early humans survive unpredictable conditions. […]

  • Compassion helped Neanderthals to survive, new study reveals
    on March 13, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    They have an unwarranted image as brutish and uncaring, but new research has revealed just how knowledgeable and effective Neanderthal healthcare was. […]

  • Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans
    on February 22, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Scientists have found the first major evidence that Neanderthals, rather than modern humans, created the world's oldest known cave paintings -- suggesting they may have had an artistic sense similar to our own. […]

  • Did humans speak through cave art? Ancient drawings and language's origins
    on February 21, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests a professor. […]

  • Brain size of human ancestors evolved gradually over 3 million years
    on February 21, 2018 at 2:20 am

    Modern humans have brains that are more than three times larger than our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos. Scientists don't agree on when and how this dramatic increase took place, but new analysis of 94 hominin fossils shows that average brain size increased gradually and consistently over the past three million years. […]

  • Did humans domesticate themselves?
    on February 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Human ‘self-domestication’ is a hypothesis that states that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans selected their companions depending on who had a more pro-social behavior. Researchers have found new genetic evidence for this evolutionary process. […]

  • New insights into human evolution
    on February 13, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    The evolution of human biology should be considered part and parcel with the evolution of humanity itself, proposes an assistant professor of biological sciences. She explores an interdisciplinary approach to human evolution. […]

  • Neanderthals' lack of drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques
    on February 9, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Visual imagery used in drawing regulates arm movements in manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc of a spear. […]

  • Face of first Brit revealed: Blue eyes, dark hair and skin
    on February 8, 2018 at 1:24 am

    Researchers have revealed the face of 'Cheddar Man', Britain's oldest nearly complete skeleton at 10,000 years old, with unprecedented accuracy. The results indicate that Cheddar Man had blue eyes, dark colored curly hair and 'dark to black' skin pigmentation. […]

  • First study of the only original fossils conserved of 'Peking Man'
    on February 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Scientists have been studying for the first time the original fossil remains conserved of 'Peking Man.' These six teeth belonging to Homo erectus were found in the mid-twentieth century at the Middle Pleistocene archaeological site of Zhoukoudian (Beijing). […]

  • Scientists discover oldest known modern human fossil outside of Africa
    on January 25, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    A large international research team has discovered the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa. The finding suggests that modern humans left the continent at least 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. […]

  • Ancient Eurasian DNA sequencing is revealing links with modern humans
    on January 25, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Until recently, very little was known about the genetic relationship between modern humans of the Upper Paleolithic age (the period of time between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, also called the Late Stone age) and today's populations. But with direct DNA sequencing, researchers are discovering unexpected genetic connections between individuals on opposing sides of Eurasia. These suggest a complex history that may represent an early population structure that eventually led to Europeans and Asians. […]

  • Modern human brain organization emerged only recently
    on January 25, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Homo sapiens fossils demonstrate a gradual evolution of the human brain towards its modern globular shape. […]

  • The Montmaurin-La Niche mandible reveals the complexity of the Neanderthals’ origin
    on January 16, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    A team of scientists has examined the Middle Pleistocene Montmaurin-La Niche mandible, which reveals the complexity of the origin of the Neanderthals. […]

  • Revising the story of the dispersal of modern humans across Eurasia
    on December 7, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Most people are now familiar with the traditional 'Out of Africa' model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research, are revising this story. Recent discoveries show that humans left Africa multiple times prior to 60,000 years ago, and that they interbred with other hominins in many locations across Eurasia. […]

  • Genes identified that distinguish mammals from other animals
    on December 4, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    What distinguishes Homo sapiens from other living beings? And the group of mammals? What makes them different? Researchers analysed the already-sequenced genomes of 68 mammals and identified 6,000 families of genes that are only found in these animals. These are genes with no homologues outside mammals, in other words, they are not present in other hairless species. In humans, it is estimated that they represent 2.5% of the genes that code for proteins. […]