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Your search has returned 119 articles:
  • News

    Modern chimp brains share similarities with ancient hominids

    Groove patterns on the surface of modern chimpanzee brains throw a monkey wrench into proposals that some ancient southern African hominids evolved humanlike brain characteristics, a new study suggests.

    MRIs of eight living chimps reveal substantial variability in the shape and location of certain features on the brain surface. Some of these brains showed surface creases similar to ones...

    03/26/2018 - 15:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Ancient climate shifts may have sparked human ingenuity and networking

    Dramatic shifts in the East African climate may have driven toolmaking advances and the development of trading networks among Homo sapiens or their close relatives by the Middle Stone Age, roughly 320,000 years ago. That’s the implication of discoveries reported in three papers published online March 15 in Science.

    Newly excavated Middle Stone Age tools and red pigment chunks from...

    03/15/2018 - 14:48 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Humans don’t get enough sleep. Just ask other primates.

    People have evolved to sleep much less than chimps, baboons or any other primate studied so far.

    A large comparison of primate sleep patterns finds that most species get somewhere between nine and 15 hours of shut-eye daily, while humans average just seven. An analysis of several lifestyle and biological factors, however, predicts people should get 9.55 hours, researchers report online...

    03/07/2018 - 07:00 Anthropology, Animals, Human Evolution
  • News

    Cave art suggests Neandertals were ancient humans’ mental equals

    Neandertals drew on cave walls and made personal ornaments long before encountering Homo sapiens, two new studies find. These discoveries paint bulky, jut-jawed Neandertals as the mental equals of ancient humans, scientists say.

    Rock art depicting abstract shapes and hand stencils in three Spanish caves dates back to at least 64,800 years ago, researchers report in the Feb. 23 Science....

    02/22/2018 - 14:12 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Human brains rounded into shape over 200,000 years or more

    Big brains outpaced well-rounded brains in human evolution.

    Around the time of the origins of our species 300,000 years ago, the brains of Homo sapiens had about the same relatively large size as they do today, new research suggests. But rounder noggins rising well above the forehead — considered a hallmark of human anatomy — didn’t appear until between about 100,000 and 35,000 years ago...

    01/24/2018 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • Year in Review

    The story of humans’ origins got a revision in 2017

    Human origins are notoriously tough to pin down. Fossil and genetic studies in 2017 suggested a reason why: No clear starting time or location ever existed for our species. The first biological stirrings of humankind occurred at a time of evolutionary experimentation in the human genus, Homo.

    Homo sapiens’ signature skeletal features emerged piece by piece in different African...

    12/13/2017 - 08:29 Human Evolution, Ancestry, Archaeology
  • News

    Crocs take a bite out of claims of ancient stone-tool use

    Recent reports of African and North American animal fossils bearing stone-tool marks from being butchered a remarkably long time ago may be a crock. Make that a croc.

    Crocodile bites damage animal bones in virtually the same ways that stone tools do, say paleoanthropologist Yonatan Sahle of the University of Tübingen in Germany and his colleagues. Animal bones allegedly cut up for meat...

    11/06/2017 - 15:16 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Scientists battle over whether violence has declined over time

    Contrary to a popular idea among researchers, modern states haven’t dulled people’s long-standing taste for killing each other in battle, a controversial new study concludes. But living in a heavily populated society may up one’s odds of surviving a war, two anthropologists propose.

    As a population grows, larger numbers of combatants die in wars, but those slain represent a smaller...

    10/20/2017 - 09:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Europe’s Stone Age fishers used beeswax to make a point

    Late Stone Age people got a grip thanks to honeybees. Northern Europeans attached a barbed bone point to a handle of some kind with a beeswax adhesive around 13,000 years ago, scientists say. The result: a fishing spear.

    Using beeswax glue to make tools was common in Africa as early as 40,000 years ago (SN: 8/25/12, p. 16). But this spear is the first evidence of its use in cold parts of...

    10/06/2017 - 16:17 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • Reviews & Previews

    New book offers a peek into the mind of Oliver Sacks

    The River of ConsciousnessOliver SacksKnopf, $27

    The experience of reading the essays that make up The River of Consciousness is very much like peering into an ever-changing stream. Pebbles shift as the water courses by, revealing unexpected facets below.

    The essays, by neurologist Oliver Sacks and arranged into an anthology two weeks before his death in 2015, meander through...

    10/06/2017 - 09:00 Neuroscience, History of Science, Human Evolution