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Human Evolution

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cave art

ARTISTIC SURPRISE  Red horizontal and vertical lines painted on the walls of a Spanish cave date to at least 64,800 years ago, a new study finds. Since Homo sapiens had not reached Europe at that time, Neandertals must have created this art, researchers propose. The animal-shaped figure, right, was not dated and its makers remain unknown.

digital brain reconstructions

ROUNDING OFF  Digital brain reconstructions compare a possible Homo sapiens from around 315,000 years ago (left) with a present-day human (right). Human brains didn’t attain the especially rounded shape observed today until sometime between 100,000 and 35,000 years ago, scientists say.

CT scans of Homo sapiens fossils

GETTING OLDER  Roughly 300,000-year-old fossils from Morocco have been attributed to Homo sapiens. CT scans, used to produce these reconstructions, reveal a modern-looking face (left) but a braincase similar to older, now extinct Homo species (right).

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