Read the Journal of Zoology's Special "Paleobehavior" Issue Free!

For the next month, the Journal of Zoology's special issue on paleoethology (the study of how extinct species behaved) is totally free to read (and download). » 6/24/14 7:51pm 6/24/14 7:51pm

What would happen if every creature in the animal kingdom had a human…

Who needs a fascinatingly creep-ball cartoon to kick off October? We're going to veto the lone dissenter in the peanut gallery because Hominid — this short animation by director Brian Andrews — is icky in all the right ways. In addition to this short, Andrews creates composite photography (which can be seen here) that… » 10/01/12 7:15am 10/01/12 7:15am

Chimpanzee "nests" reveal when hominids first left the trees

When a chimpanzee goes to sleep, it first has to build a "nest", which allows it to sleep safely up in the trees. Strangely, chimpanzees also build nests when sleeping on the ground, which might reveal a secret about human evolution. » 4/16/12 3:02pm 4/16/12 3:02pm

The last time we redefined what it means to be human

Over the past decade, you may have noticed more and more articles referring to "hominins" rather than "hominids." Just why are Homo sapiens and her ancestors now called hominins? The answer isn't just semantic — it has to do with a revolution in the way evolutionary biologists perceive humans' place in the tree of… » 3/12/12 3:53pm 3/12/12 3:53pm

The last European great ape lived 7 million years ago

Millions of years ago, Europe was a vast savanna full of giraffes, elephants, and rhinos. There was also at least one hominid ape, according to a fossilized tooth recently discovered in Bulgaria. Meet the latest complication in our evolutionary story. » 1/15/12 1:30pm 1/15/12 1:30pm

Modern humans may have evolved 200,000 years earlier than we thought

For early hominid hunters, there was no greater prize than an elephant. Kill just one of those, and a tribe could eat well for days. But when the elephants suddenly disappeared, something remarkable happened: Our hominid ancestors became more intelligent. » 12/15/11 2:09pm 12/15/11 2:09pm

Starving orangutans may explain why humans evolved to become obese

They're not as closely related to us as chimps and gorillas, but we share something crucial with orangutans: we both evolved to survive long periods without decent food. And that shared past could help explain our modern obesity epidemic. » 12/13/11 4:30pm 12/13/11 4:30pm

How sugar molecules secretly shaped human evolution

Three million years ago, a gene mutation switched off a sugar-making enzyme in early hominids. Our ancestors actually became unable to breed with those who still had the enzyme, possibly causing the emergence of our evolutionary grandparent, Homo erectus. » 10/10/11 3:00pm 10/10/11 3:00pm

Confirmed: All non-African people are part Neanderthal

The evidence has been mounting for years that early humans and Neanderthals interbred, but now it's pretty much a certainty. Part of the X chromosome found in people from outside Africa originally comes from our Neanderthal cousins. » 7/18/11 4:00pm 7/18/11 4:00pm

If humanity went extinct, what species would replace us?

Could another species someday replace us as Earth's dominant intelligent life and, if so, which species? To answer that question, we need to understand just what intelligence really is. And why, from an evolutionary standpoint, an organism would even want it. » 3/09/11 9:35am 3/09/11 9:35am

Did humans leave the trees because we're a bunch of big babies?

Human babies are, relative to the size of their mothers, about twice as big as chimpanzee babies. Our evolutionary growth spurt might have forced mothers to give up living in the trees, changing human social dynamics forever. » 1/03/11 5:00pm 1/03/11 5:00pm

What If The Neandertals Didn't Die Out?

With recent news that Neandertals painted, and proto-human homo erectus sailed to Europe on boats, this is the week for hominid power. In that spirit, let's take a look at a subgenre of science fiction where Neanderthals never went extinct. » 1/13/10 4:14pm 1/13/10 4:14pm