Why Are So Few People Left-Handed?

Today marks the 22nd annual International Left-Handers Day. To celebrate, let's look at why only around one in ten people is left-handed. Why, pray tell, are lefties are so rare – or, said another way, why are most of us righties? It seems like a simple question, but it's actually one of the biggest mysteries in all… » 8/13/14 12:20pm 8/13/14 12:20pm

Want to hear a neanderthal say the letter "E"?

Other neanderthals would probably also like to hear that — but one researcher thinks that the average neanderthal would have a problem with that vowel. A reconstructed vocal tract indicates that there are some vowel sounds that neanderthals just couldn't say. » 5/30/13 1:31pm 5/30/13 1:31pm

A rare, near-complete mammoth skeleton has been unearthed near Paris

You know what's rare? Woolly mammoth skeletons. You know what's even rarer? Beautifully preserved, near-complete, French woolly mammoth skeletons. Archaeologists just dug up the latter. » 11/08/12 8:00am 11/08/12 8:00am

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

Neanderthals were sailing the Mediterranean 100,000 years ago

Humans likely first took to the seas about 50,000 years ago. But there's mounting evidence that our Neanderthal cousins were routinely sailing throughout the Mediterranean twice as long ago. Alternatively, they were just really good at long distance swimming. » 2/29/12 4:40pm 2/29/12 4:40pm

Neanderthals were apparently painting DNA 43,000 years ago

This cave painting is thought to be 43,000 years old, making it 8,000 years older than any other known art. It was most likely the work of Neanderthals, who apparently discovered the DNA double helix 43 millennia before we did. » 2/12/12 1:00pm 2/12/12 1:00pm

Ancient humans just couldn't stop having sex with Neanderthals

The human genome carries an average of 1% to 4% Neanderthal DNA, which means our ancient human ancestors must have interbred with our extinct evolutionary cousins. That raises an obvious next question: why did humans have sex with Neanderthals? » 2/07/12 3:15pm 2/07/12 3:15pm

Caveman cartoon parodies Quest for Fire

In the early days of humanity, the Cromag tribe encounters fire with the first time and has a grand old time throwing things into it, but doesn't know how to make fire themselves. In The Discovery of Fire, when the neighboring Neandert family wants a little fire to call their own, things start to get silly — and a… » 1/15/12 2:00pm 1/15/12 2:00pm

New DNA test will reveal if you're part Neanderthal

Genome analysts at 23andMe have devised a new way to reveal the secrets inside your DNA. Their latest test will reveal how many of your genes come from Neanderthals. Be warned: some people have a lot of Neanderthal in them. » 12/20/11 12:40pm 12/20/11 12:40pm

Does this 150,000 year old skull show the first case of human-on-human…

An ancient human skull found in China shows evidence of blunt force trauma, meaning some other human probably hit him on the head. Considering how old the skull is, this might as well be considered the invention of violence. » 11/21/11 3:07pm 11/21/11 3:07pm

Jawbone fragment suggests humans settled Europe thousands of years…

Sometimes it really pays to take a second look at old findings. The fragment of jaw bone pictured above, believed to have belonged to an anatomically modern human, was first discovered over 80 years ago in Kents Cavern, an archaeologically rich cave system located in South England. » 11/04/11 1:20pm 11/04/11 1:20pm

Why are most people right-handed?

It seems like such a simple question, but it's actually one of the biggest mysteries in all of science. Is it because of how our brains are organized, how ancient humans gripped tools, or is it simple anti-lefty prejudice? » 10/26/11 9:28am 10/26/11 9:28am

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

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

Sex with Neanderthals gave humans the strength we needed to conquer the…

It's only relatively recently that the scientific community has begun to accept that early humans interbred with our Neanderthal cousins. Now it looks as if it was not only possible, it was essential for providing us with immunity from strange diseases. » 6/16/11 11:35am 6/16/11 11:35am

Neanderthals might have believed in the spiritual world before Homo…

A recently-uncovered Neanderthal burial site in Spain has provided intriguing evidence that these ancient hominids believed in an afterlife and were capable of complex symbolic thought, all possibly before early Homo sapiens demonstrated these abilities. » 4/20/11 3:19pm 4/20/11 3:19pm

Apocalyptic visions and caveman baseball - Gōjin Ishihara's kids art

The following illustrations by Japanese artist Gōjin Ishihara depict the end of the world, prehistoric man playing pro ball, and sundry scenes from Hell...and they're all out of children's books and magazines! These books definitely weren't bedtime story material. » 7/28/10 10:07am 7/28/10 10:07am

Cavemen Experimented with Inter-Species Sex

Scientists conducting a new genetic study have discovered that early humans bred with other species — like Neanderthals — at least twice. » 4/26/10 11:30am 4/26/10 11:30am