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Your search has returned 1238 articles:
  • News

    The rise of farming altered our bite and changed how people talk

    Humankind’s gift of gab is not set in stone, and farming could help to explain why.

    Over the last 6,000 years or so, farming societies increasingly have substituted processed dairy and grain products for tougher-to-chew game meat and wild plants common in hunter-gatherer diets. Switching to those diets of softer, processed foods altered people’s jaw structure over time, rendering certain...

    03/14/2019 - 14:00 Language, Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Skeleton Keys’ unlocks the history and mysteries of bones

    Skeleton KeysBrian SwitekRiverhead Books, $26

    At this very moment, voracious cells are eating away at your bones. Not to worry, though — that’s just a normal part of bone maintenance in healthy adults. The formation of new bone cells balances out the removal of old bone cells. Although bone-making cells rev up when a bone breaks or disease sets in, eventually bone-eating cells kick...

    03/08/2019 - 06:00 Animals, Anthropology, Cells
  • News

    Human encroachment threatens chimpanzee culture

    From deep inside chimpanzee territory, the fieldworkers heard loud bangs and shouts. Hidden video cameras later revealed what the chimps in the Boé region of Guinea-Bissau were up to. Males were throwing rocks at trees and yelling.  

    Researchers don’t fully understand why the apes engage in this rare behavior, known as accumulative stone throwing. And scientists may not have much time to...

    03/07/2019 - 14:44 Conservation, Evolution, Anthropology
  • News in Brief

    Hominids may have hunted rabbits as far back as 400,000 years ago

    In Europe, Stone Age hominids began adding small, fast animals to their menus much earlier than previously thought, scientists say.

    Now-extinct members of the human genus, Homo, hunted rabbits and, to a lesser extent, hares in southern France and probably other Mediterranean parts of Europe by around 400,000 years ago, researchers report online March 6 in Science Advances. Hunters also...

    03/06/2019 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers ponder mitochondria, Neandertal diets, deep sea corals and more

    Dad’s contribution

    Scientists have long thought that children inherit mitochondria — tiny energy factories found in cells — from only their mothers. But data from three unrelated families suggest that in rare cases children can also inherit mitochondria from their fathers, Tina Hesman Saey reported in “Dads, not just moms, can pass along mitochondrial DNA” (SN: 1/19/19, p. 8).

    ...

    02/26/2019 - 06:00 Cells, Anthropology, Oceans
  • News

    African hominid fossils show ancient steps toward a two-legged stride

    Fossils unearthed from an Ethiopian site not far from where the famous hominid Ardi’s partial skeleton was found suggest that her species was evolving different ways of walking upright more than 4 million years ago.

    Scientists have established that Ardi herself could walk upright (SN Online: 4/2/18). But the new fossils demonstrate that other members of Ardipithecus ramidus developed a...

    02/22/2019 - 11:11 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Evolutionarily, grandmas are good for grandkids — up to a point

    Grandmothers are great — generally speaking. But evolutionarily speaking, it’s puzzling why women past their reproductive years live so long.

    Grandma’s age and how close she lives to her grandchildren can affect those children’s survival, suggest two new studies published February 7 in Current Biology.  One found that, among Finnish families in the 1700s–1800s, the survival rate of young...

    02/07/2019 - 11:00 Evolution, Science & Society, Anthropology
  • News

    New dates narrow down when Denisovans and Neandertals crossed paths

    Mysterious ancient hominids known as Denisovans and their evolutionary cousins, Neandertals, frequented a southern Siberian cave starting a surprisingly long time ago, two new studies find.

    Evidence for visits by those populations to Denisova Cave, beginning by around 200,000 years ago for Neandertals and possibly as early as about 300,000 years ago for Denisovans, appears in the Jan. 31...

    01/30/2019 - 13:00 Anthropology, Archaeology, Human Evolution