This Extinct Species is Changing What We Know About Early Ape Evolution

Meet Pliobates catalonia, an extinct species of ape that roamed the jungles of Catalonia some 11.5 million years ago. Because of this ancient creature’s many surprising physical characteristics, researchers are having to revise their conceptions of what the last common ancestor of all living apes—humans included—might… »10/29/15 2:40pm10/29/15 2:40pm


Did Our Hands Evolve to Throw Punches? One Biologist Thinks So

The human hand is a marvelous evolutionary invention: it can tie knots, tap out blog posts, wield tools and wire circuit boards. But how did we get these hands, with their long, dextrous fingers and conveniently opposable thumbs? It’s likely that tool-grasping played a role, but according to one evolutionary… »10/22/15 12:42pm10/22/15 12:42pm

A new study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that lower back pain is more frequent in peo

A new study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that lower back pain is more frequent in people whose spines are similar in shape to those of chimpanzees. “[Our] study suggests that the pathological vertebrae of some people may be less well adapted for walking upright,” noted lead researcher Kimberly Plomp. »4/27/15 3:40pm4/27/15 3:40pm

New Fossil Dating Technique Casts Doubt On Human Origins

A new dating technique has revised the estimated age of Little Foot from 2.2 million to 3.6 million years ago. That’s significant because it places the rare Australopithecus fossil within the same evolutionary timeframe as Lucy, a hominid from a separate species. Meaning humans may not be related to Lucy after all. »4/02/15 10:40am4/02/15 10:40am

7 Signs That Humans Are Domestic Animals

Tens of thousands of years ago, humans were wild animals. Our ancestors roamed the land in search of food by day, and huddled together for safety by night. But then something changed. We domesticated ourselves, and this process didn't just change us profoundly — it changed a lot of other life forms around us, too. »6/05/14 1:00pm6/05/14 1:00pm

Why Does It Matter If Homo sapiens Had Sex With Neanderthals?

Evidence has been piling up for a while that early humans in Europe had children with the Neanderthals who had been living there for probably 500 thousand years before humans arrived. Very few Neanderthal genes are left in humans today, so what difference does it make? A lot, both genetically and philosophically. »4/02/14 11:48pm4/02/14 11:48pm