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Anthropology

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map of Yamnaya migrations

BIG MOVES  Ancient DNA indicates horse-riding pastoralists called the Yamnaya made two long-distance migrations around 5,000 years ago. One trip may have shaped Europe’s ancient Corded Ware culture, while the other launched central Asia’s Afanasievo culture.

European skull

MIXED ANCESTRY  Tiny samples taken from ancient European skulls, in a process shown here, yielded enough DNA for researchers to determine that farmers and foragers interbred in three different regions from 8,000 to nearly 4,000 years ago.

horse leg bone and croc tooth

BIG BITE  Crocodiles in East Africa around 2.5 million years ago had teeth (one shown at right) capable of gouging chunks out of prey animals’ bones. A horse’s leg bone (left), also dating to 2.5 million years ago from East Africa, bears marks more like those of croc bites than butchery with stone tools, as previously suspected, a new study finds.  

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