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Human Evolution

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pictures from Santa Elina rock shelter

EARLY ARRIVALS  Excavations at a Brazilian rock shelter near the center of South America (left) suggest that humans hunted giant sloths there more than 20,000 years ago. Ancient people used some sloth bones unearthed at the site (right, top and bottom) as personal ornaments, based on notches and holes in those finds.

notched sloth bones

EARLY ARRIVALS  These notched sloth bones, perhaps personal ornaments, are evidence of an early human arrival to South America, scientists propose.

CHIPPED OFF  Tooth damage sustained by Homo naledi, an ancient South African humanlike species, resulted from a diet heavy on hard or gritty objects, researchers say. One likely chip culprit: dirt-covered, nutritious underground plants such as tubers.

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