Bruce Bower

Bruce Bower

Behavioral Sciences Writer

Bruce Bower has written about the behavioral sciences since 1984. He often writes about psychology, anthropology, archaeology and mental health issues. Bruce has a master's degree in psychology from Pepperdine University and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Following an internship at Science News in 1981, he worked as a reporter at Psychiatric News, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, until joining Science News as a staff writer. In 1996, the American Psychological Association appointed Bruce a Science Writer Fellow, with a grant to visit psychological scientists of his own choosing. Early stints as an aide in a day school for children and teenagers with severe psychological problems and as a counselor in a drug diversion center provided Bruce with a surprisingly good background for a career in science journalism.

All Stories by Bruce Bower

  1. partially excavated skeleton of oldest known victim of a shark bite
    Anthropology

    A partial skeleton reveals the world’s oldest known shark attack

    An ancient shark bite victim died quickly, before his body was recovered and buried, a new study finds.

  2. five skulls from different Homo species
    Anthropology

    ‘Dragon Man’ skull may help oust Neandertals as our closest ancient relative

    A Chinese fossil has been classified as a new Homo species that lived more than 146,000 years ago, but not all scientists are convinced.

  3. jaw and skull bones from the Nesher Ramla site on a white background
    Anthropology

    Israeli fossil finds reveal a new hominid group, Nesher Ramla Homo

    Discoveries reveal a new Stone Age population that had close ties to Homo sapiens at least 120,000 years ago, complicating the human family tree.

  4. Coxcatlan Cave entrance
    Archaeology

    New clues suggest people reached the Americas around 30,000 years ago

    Ancient rabbit bones from a Mexican rock-shelter point to humans arriving on the continent as much as 10,000 years earlier than often assumed.

  5. photo of two skeletons on their sides in the fetal position, half immersed in the soil
    Anthropology

    Hunter-gatherers first launched violent raids at least 13,400 years ago

    Skeletons from an ancient African cemetery bear the oldest known signs of small-scale warfare.

  6. sharpened turkey leg bones used for tattoos
    Archaeology

    The oldest known tattoo tools were found at an ancient Tennessee site

    Sharpened turkey leg bones may have served as tattoo needles between 5,520 and 3,620 years ago, at least a millennium earlier than previously thought.

  7. virtual reconstruction of child's bones
    Anthropology

    A child’s 78,000-year-old grave marks Africa’s oldest known human burial

    Cave excavation of a youngster’s grave pushes back the date of the first human burial identified in the continent by at least a few thousand years.

  8. Little Foot hominid skeleton photographed from above
    Anthropology

    Little Foot’s shoulders hint at how a human-chimp common ancestor climbed

    The shape of the 3.67-million-year-old hominid’s shoulder blades suggests it had a gorilla-like ability to climb trees.

  9. crowd of Japanese commuters wearing masks
    Anthropology

    A coronavirus epidemic may have hit East Asia about 25,000 years ago

    An ancient viral outbreak may have left a genetic mark in East Asians that possibly influences their responses to the virus that causes COVID-19.

  10. human skull from early humans in Europe
    Genetics

    Europe’s oldest known humans mated with Neandertals surprisingly often

    DNA from ancient fossils suggests interbreeding regularly occurred between the two species by about 45,000 years ago, two studies find.

  11. scientists excavating a rock shelter in the Kalahari Desert
    Archaeology

    Stone Age culture bloomed inland, not just along Africa’s coasts

    Homo sapiens living more than 600 kilometers from the coast around 105,000 years ago collected crystals that may have had ritual meaning.

  12. bones of a man and woman with artifacts in a bronze age grave
    Anthropology

    Riches in a Bronze Age grave suggest it holds a queen

    Researchers have long assumed mostly men ran ancient Bronze Age societies, but the find points to a female ruler in Spain 3,700 years ago.