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 thousands … » 8/14/12 7:20am 8/14/12 7:20am

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 life. » 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

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

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

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