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  • casts of Homo naledi’s brain
  • ancient tooth decay
  • ancient wild cow stone engraving
Your search has returned 92 articles:
  • News

    Homo naledi’s brain shows humanlike features

    NEW ORLEANS — A relatively small brain can pack a big evolutionary punch. Consider Homo naledi, a famously puzzling fossil species in the human genus. Despite having a brain only slightly larger than a chimpanzee’s, H. naledi displays key humanlike neural features, two anthropologists reported April 20 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

    Those...

    04/25/2017 - 12:08 Human Evolution, Anthropology, Language
  • News

    Stone Age hunter-gatherers tackled their cavities with a sharp tool and tar

    Stone Age dentists didn’t drill and fill cavities. They scraped and coated them.

    Two teeth from a person who lived in what’s now northern Italy between 13,000 and 12,740 years ago bear signs of someone having scoured and removed infected soft, inner tissue. The treated area was then covered with bitumen, a sticky, tarlike substance Stone Age folks used to attach stone tools to handles (...

    04/07/2017 - 11:11 Archaeology, Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Cow carved in stone paints picture of Europe’s early human culture

    This stone engraving of an aurochs, or wild cow, found in a French rock-shelter in 2012, provides glimpses of an ancient human culture’s spread across Central and Western Europe, researchers say.

    Rows of dots partly cover the aurochs. A circular depression cut into the center of the animal’s body may have caused the limestone to split in two, says Stone Age art specialist Raphaëlle...

    02/03/2017 - 07:00 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Monsoon deluges turned ancient Sahara green

    Thousands of years ago, it didn’t just rain on the Sahara Desert. It poured.

    Grasslands, trees, lakes and rivers once covered North Africa’s now arid, unforgiving landscape. From about 11,000 to 5,000 years ago, much higher rainfall rates than previously estimated created that “Green Sahara,” say geologist Jessica Tierney of the University of Arizona in Tucson and her colleagues....

    01/18/2017 - 16:37 Climate, Human Evolution
  • News

    Monkeys have vocal tools, but not brains, to talk like humans

    Macaque monkeys would be quite talkative if only their brains cooperated with their airways, a new study suggests.

    These primates possess the vocal equipment to speak much as people do, say evolutionary biologist and cognitive scientist W. Tecumseh Fitch of the University of Vienna and colleagues. But macaques lack brains capable of transforming that vocal potential into human talk. As a...

    12/19/2016 - 07:00 Anthropology, Language, Human Evolution
  • News

    Buff upper arms let Lucy climb trees

    Lucy didn’t let an upright stance ground her. This 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis, hominid evolution’s best-known fossil individual, strong-armed her way up trees, a new study finds.

    Her lower body was built for walking. But exceptional upper-body strength, approaching that of chimpanzees, enabled Lucy to hoist herself into trees or onto tree branches,...

    11/30/2016 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • Feature

    Animal hybrids may hold clues to Neandertal-human interbreeding

    Neandertals are the comeback kids of human evolution. A mere decade ago, the burly, jut-jawed crowd was known as a dead-end species that lost out to us, Homo sapiens.

    But once geneticists began extracting Neandertal DNA from fossils and comparing it with DNA from present-day folks, the story changed. Long-gone Neandertals rode the double helix express back to evolutionary relevance as...

    10/05/2016 - 11:00 Human Evolution, Animals
  • Feature

    Jessica Cantlon seeks the origins of numerical thinking

    Jessica Cantlon, 40Cognitive neuroscientistUniversity of Rochester

    The first time Jessica Cantlon met Kumang at the Seneca Park Zoo, the matriarch orangutan regurgitated her previous meal right into Cantlon’s face. “I was retching,” Cantlon recalls. “It was so gross.” But Cantlon was there to kick off a series of behavioral experiments, and her students, who would be working with Kumang...

    09/21/2016 - 11:07 Neuroscience, Human Evolution
  • Feature

    Lawrence David’s gut check gets personal

    Lawrence David, 33Computational biologistDuke University

    A Jim Carrey movie inspired computational biologist Lawrence David to change the course of his research. As a graduate student, David saw Yes Man, a 2008 film in which Carrey’s character is forced to say yes to all propositions.

    David thought the movie’s message about opening yourself to new experiences, even uncomfortable ones,...

    09/21/2016 - 11:06 Human Evolution, Microbes, Cells
  • News

    Painting claimed to be among Australia’s oldest known rock art

    Inside a large cave in northwestern Australia’s remote Kimberley region, someone painted an elongated, yamlike shape on a ceiling at least 16,000 years ago, new research suggests. That long-ago creation in the unnamed cavern adds fuel to the argument that rock art in Australia goes back even earlier to the continent’s first inhabitants, researchers contend.

    This discovery joins a small...

    09/16/2016 - 10:54 Archaeology, Human Evolution