A Patrilineal Map of the World

While doing some independent research of my own on the world's genetic diversity, I found this map of the world's primary Y-chromosomal haplogroups and thought I'd share it. Given some of my prior discussions of race and ethnicity, I felt it might be of interest. » 1/24/15 3:05pm 1/24/15 3:05pm

​Engravings On A Shell Made 300,000 Years Before Humans Evolved

Archaeologist Stephen Munro nearly fell off his chair when he noticed patterns of straight lines purposefully etched on a fossilized clamshell. The engravings were half a million years old, which meant they'd been made by a Homo erectus—an extinct human species that predated Homo sapiens by upwards of 300,000 years. » 12/03/14 2:40pm 12/03/14 2:40pm

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

This ancient hominin could replace Lucy as humanity's closest…

Two million years ago in South Africa, part-human and part-ape-like individuals existed — and now we know what they looked like and how they behaved: They had a primitive, pigeon-toed gait, human-like front teeth, ate mostly veggies and spent a lot of time swinging in the trees. » 4/12/13 9:40am 4/12/13 9:40am

The earliest split in modern humanity was 100,000 years ago

The Khoe-San people of Southern Africa have long been argued as one of the oldest distinct populations in the world — but it wasn't until now that we realized just how long ago that split actually happened. » 9/21/12 10:05am 9/21/12 10:05am

Ancient humans may not have interbred with Neanderthals, after all

If you hail from outside of Africa, there's a decent chance that you share as much as 4% of your DNA with a long-extinct lineage of Neanderthals. Many scientists agree that this small percentage of shared genetic information is evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred with one another in Europe tens of… » 8/14/12 7:20am 8/14/12 7:20am

Scientists may have just discovered a brand new species of human

This skull has a weird mix of ancient and modern traits. It was discovered in a cave in southwest China and dates to between 14,500 and 11,500 years ago. And it might represent the newest humanoid species to coexist with humans. » 3/14/12 1:00pm 3/14/12 1:00pm

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

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

From law-violating subatomic particles to entirely new, earth-like worlds, 2011 was an incredible year for scientific discovery. In the past 12 months, scientific breakthroughs in fields ranging from archaeology to structural biochemistry have allowed humanity to rewrite history, and enabled us to open to brand new… » 12/28/11 4:20pm 12/28/11 4:20pm

Neanderthals were eating brain-expanding shellfish 150,000 years ago

Shellfish has a surprisingly important place in our evolutionary story. One theory says shellfish fueled the expansion of our brains, while another gives it credit for saving our species. Turns out Neanderthals liked shellfish just as much as we did. » 9/16/11 6:20am 9/16/11 6:20am

Ancient humans were just having sex with everyone

We know that as ancient humans expanded into Eurasia, they began interbreeding with our Neanderthal cousins. But it now appears that the fun didn't start there - our ancestors also reproduced with precursors like Homo erectus and Homo habilis. » 9/06/11 4:31pm 9/06/11 4:31pm

Cooking may have driven human evolution nearly 2 million years ago

Modern humans spend significantly less time feeding than non-human primates. You spend an average of 5% of your waking hours consuming food, while your typical chimpanzee spends upwards of 33%. And it's all because of cooking. Now, newly published research suggests that our ancestors' abilities to whip up a hot meal… » 8/25/11 7:40am 8/25/11 7:40am

Ancient toe might prove that all ancient humanoid species were…

Late last year, we learned that early humans and Neanderthals once shared Eurasia with a third hominin group, known as Denisovans. Now, the new discovery of a Denisovan toe bone might indicate that these three hominin groups were pretty much constantly interbreeding. » 8/10/11 3:39pm 8/10/11 3:39pm

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

A view of the exact region in Africa where humans emerged

There's still a lot we don't know about our evolutionary history, but one generally agreed upon point is that humans originated in eastern Africa, around what's now Ethiopia. But a new genetic study suggests we came from somewhere else entirely. » 3/08/11 10:22am 3/08/11 10:22am

Paleontologists discover what Neanderthal fashion looked like 44…

A Neanderthal burial site in Italy reveals hundreds of bird bones mixed in with those of our hominid cousins. The bones had the feathers scraped off, as though the Neanderthals had removed them on purpose - and the only plausible reason they would do that is to wear the feathers. It's more evidence that Neanderthals… » 2/21/11 3:30pm 2/21/11 3:30pm

Proof that humans could outrun Neanderthals

One of the traits that gave humans an evolutionary advantage was their ability to run for long distances. It helped humans catch energy-rich meat to grow big brains. It also looks like it helped us leave Neanderthals in the dust. » 2/04/11 8:00am 2/04/11 8:00am

100,000-year-old human settlement in U.A.E. overturns what we know of…

Human artifacts recently discovered in the United Arab Emirates date back at least 100,000 years, which means our ancestors might have left Africa up to 125,000 years ago...twice as long ago as previously thought. What's going on here? » 1/27/11 5:21pm 1/27/11 5:21pm

400,000 year old teeth could rewrite the evolutionary history of our…

Eight recently discovered teeth are very similar to those of modern humans and date back 400,000 years... 200,000 years older than our species is supposed to be. To explain this mystery, we must retrace human evolution. » 12/28/10 3:30pm 12/28/10 3:30pm

New stone tool discovery suggests humans left Africa much earlier than…

Current genetic evidence says the ancestors of modern humans left Africa 60,000 years ago. But recently discovered stone tools in the Arabian peninsula and India suggest humans actually started exploring the world as much as 120,000 years ago. » 9/20/10 7:30am 9/20/10 7:30am