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  • News

    Stone tools put early hominids in China 2.1 million years ago

    Members of the human genus, Homo, left Africa far earlier than thought, reaching what’s now central China by around 2.12 million years ago, a new study finds.

    Some stone tools unearthed at China’s Shangchen site date to roughly 250,000 years before what was previously the oldest Eurasian evidence of Homo, say geologist Zhaoyu Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou and his...

    07/11/2018 - 13:33 Archaeology, 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
  • News

    Pieces of Homo naledi story continue to puzzle

    ATLANTA — Homo naledi, a rock star among fossil species in the human genus, has made an encore. Its return highlighted debate over whether this hominid was a distinct Homo species that purposefully disposed of at least some of its dead.

    H. naledi made worldwide headlines last year when researchers announced the discovery of an unusually large collection of odd-looking Homo fossils in the...

    04/19/2016 - 15:11 Human Evolution, Anthropology
  • News

    Fossils suggest new species from human genus

    Fossils retrieved from an underground cave in South Africa may represent a previously unknown species of the human genus, Homo.

    The fossils come from at least 15 individuals recovered from a 30-meter-deep pit, says a team led by paleoanthropologist Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The skeletal remains display a novel mix of humanlike features and more...

    09/10/2015 - 05:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Ancient Homo fossils found in Kenya

    ST. LOUIS — Researchers have discovered fossils of three ancient members of the human genus, Homo, in East Africa. These finds add to an emerging picture of early Homo as an upright, relatively big-brained African crowd that included different species and body types.

    In 2012 and 2013, a team led by Meave Leakey of Stony Brook University in New York unearthed all but one of the teeth from...

    04/03/2015 - 14:08 Anthropology, Ancestry, Archaeology
  • News

    Ancient jaw may hold clues to origins of human genus

    Researchers have discovered what they regard as the oldest known fossil from the human genus, Homo. But questions about the evolutionary status of the approximately 2.8-million-year-old lower jaw have already emerged.

    Found in 2013 resting atop eroding soil in Ethiopia’s Ledi-Geraru research area, the fossil jaw contains several signature Homo features, including small and symmetrically...

    03/04/2015 - 13:00 Human Evolution, Anthropology, Ancestry
  • News in Brief

    Human ancestors at West Asian site deemed two species

    A controversial fossil and soil analysis concludes that a key West Asian site hosted not one but two Homo species, one living around 1.8 million years ago and another several hundred thousand years later.

    A team that excavated partial skeletons at Dmanisi, in the nation of Georgia, categorized the finds as part of one species, Homo erectus, that lived in Africa and West Asia 1.8 million...

    02/27/2014 - 17:31 Anthropology
  • Feature

    Year in Review: New discoveries reshape debate over human ancestry


    Human evolution appears poised for a scientific makeover, as unexpected and provocative findings have raised new questions this year about two poorly understood periods leading to the emergence of Homo sapiens.

    The biggest conundrum comes courtesy of the oldest known DNA...

    12/20/2013 - 17:00 Ancestry, Archaeology
  • News

    Fossil skull points to single root for human evolution

    A remarkably complete, roughly 1.8-million-year-old fossil skull with a surprising set of features adds key evidence to the controversial idea that early members of the Homo genus evolved as one species living in both western Asia and Africa, scientists say.

    The new find, and the remains of four other skulls previously unearthed at a site called Dmanisi, in the nation of Georgia,...

    10/17/2013 - 14:04 Anthropology
  • Feature

    Notorious Bones

    Almost 2 million years ago in what’s now South Africa, a boy and a woman fell through a hole in the ground into an underground cave, tumbling about 50 meters to their deaths.

    Then things got interesting. A storm soon washed the partly decomposed bodies a few meters into a subterranean lake or pool. Much like quick-setting concrete,...

    07/25/2013 - 10:32 Archaeology