Neanderthals Used Eagle Talons To Make Some Seriously Badass Jewelry

Archaeologists have identified a remarkable piece of Neanderthal jewelry comprised of eight white-tailed eagle talons. Worn 130,000 years ago, the discovery shows that Neanderthals were capable of making sophisticated ornaments long before modern humans appeared on the scene. » 3/12/15 11:40am 3/12/15 11:40am

Early Humans May Have Interbred With Neanderthals 55,000 Years Ago

It's widely acknowledged that modern Europeans mated with Neanderthals at some point in the past. We're just not entirely sure when or where. The recent discovery of an ancient skull in Israel may represent the critical missing link anthropologists have been looking for. » 1/29/15 7:40am 1/29/15 7:40am

The world's oldest genome shows when our ancestors had sex with Neanderthals. Analysis of a 45,000 year-old femur shows that modern humans and Neanderthals mated 52,000 to 58,000 years ago — a much smaller window than previously estimated (a 49,000 year span). It's the oldest-known human genome ever sequenced,… » 10/23/14 2:30pm 10/23/14 2:30pm

Dramatic Cave Art Confirms that Neanderthals Were Basically Humans

They made jewelry, buried their dead, and left behind haunting abstract paintings on the walls of their caves. Now a new finding in Gibraltar, one of the last regions of the world where Neanderthals survived, is further evidence that Neanderthals had a recognizably human culture. » 9/02/14 9:33am 9/02/14 9:33am

How Pigeon Bones Forced Us To Rethink Neanderthal Cognition

We may think of pigeons as "flying rats," but research published today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that their wild counterparts were an important source of nutrition for some Neanderthals. » 8/07/14 1:02pm 8/07/14 1:02pm

This Incredible Paleontologist Has Been Missing for Decades

The paleontologist known only as Yusra has been missing since the 1940s. And yet she's responsible for finding one of the world's most important early human fossils. We're still trying to piece together what happened to her. » 7/07/14 12:25pm 7/07/14 12:25pm

Discovery Of Oldest Human Poop Exposes The Original Paleo Diet

The recent discovery of 50,000-year-old human faecal remains in a Spanish cave shows that Neanderthals, in addition to consuming meat, ate lots of vegetables. It's the best proof yet that Neanderthals were omnivores — a diet that modern paleo-eaters will find very familiar. » 6/26/14 8:00am 6/26/14 8:00am

Neanderthals Got Their Big Brains On Their Own

Anthropologists working in a Spanish cave have discovered 17 skulls belonging to what appears to be an early form of Neanderthal. Surprisingly, these hominids had a relatively small brain case — which means Neanderthals evolved their big brains independent of our common ancestor. » 6/20/14 8:30am 6/20/14 8:30am

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 8:48pm 4/02/14 8:48pm

How did Neanderthal genes affect humanity? Here are some answers.

If you're a non-African person, you've got a little Neanderthal in your genome. In fact, maybe you have some other hominins in there, too. But just what kind of genetic legacy did some of us inherit from the Neanderthals? Two new scientific papers provide some intriguing hints. » 1/29/14 2:55pm 1/29/14 2:55pm

A gene variant that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in Latin Americans may have been inherited from Neanderthals. People who carry the higher risk version of the gene, named SLC16A11, are 25% more likely to have diabetes than those who do not, and 50% more likely if both parents have it. Yet another thing we… » 12/26/13 7:20am 12/26/13 7:20am

Did Neanderthals Talk Like Humans?

It's easy to think that Neanderthals were dumb brutes, incapable of complex speech like us. But it turns out that a Neanderthal's hyoid — a small bone in the neck that supports the tongue and is crucial for speech — worked in a very similar way to your own hyoid. Does this mean they could talk like (and with!) humans? » 12/24/13 1:40pm 12/24/13 1:40pm

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2013

From intergalactic neutrinos and invisible brains, to the creation of miniature human "organoids," 2013 was a remarkable year for scientific discovery. Here are 17 of the biggest scientific breakthroughs, innovations and advances of 2013. » 12/20/13 10:49am 12/20/13 10:49am

A chart that sums up who had sex with whom during the Pleistocene

Call it the Pleistocene hanky panky chart. Now that scientists have sequenced a complete Neanderthal genome, we have more evidence than ever that early Homo sapiens had children with Neanderthals and Denisovans tens of thousands of years ago. » 12/19/13 2:50pm 12/19/13 2:50pm

​Yes, Neanderthals did bury their dead

Over a century ago, archaeologists discovered what appeared to be a Neanderthal burial at La Chapelle-aux-Saints in southwestern France. They've been arguing about its true nature ever since. But after a 13-year study, it now appears that Neanderthals did in fact bury their dead. » 12/16/13 5:10pm 12/16/13 5:10pm

Newly presented evidence shows that early humans interbred with Neanderthals, Denisovans, and now, shockingly, a fourth undocumented hominid species. The paleoarchaeologists who made the discovery are now saying that ancient Eurasia was a "Lord of the Rings-type world," a landmass containing many hominid populations.… » 11/25/13 9:20am 11/25/13 9:20am

Modern humans are still carrying Neanderthal viruses

Neanderthals and Denisovans may be long gone, but their viruses continue to live on inside our bodies. The geneticists who discovered these ancient viruses aren't sure if they're bad for us, but they could make us more susceptible to certain cancers. » 11/19/13 3:40pm 11/19/13 3:40pm

Early Humans May Have Ripped Off Neanderthal Technology

By the time modern humans arrived in Europe, Neanderthals had already made the continent their home. What’s more, they were already adopting behaviors that would later be characteristic of humans — including the development of a specialized tool still used by leather craftspeople today. » 8/13/13 8:00am 8/13/13 8:00am

More evidence that Neanderthals made jewelry and art

Neanderthals have a reputation as grunting dimwits who lived animalistic lives in caves. But modern scientific discoveries have changed this picture dramatically. The latest discovery to overturn this myth offers evidence that Neanderthals painted shells like this one, and kept them as art or jewelry. » 7/17/13 5:00pm 7/17/13 5:00pm

Neanderthal and Proud!

I'm doing the 23andMe thing and the first results are back. I have an estimated 1.6% of my DNA from Neanderthal ancestors. Yeah, there's some medical and genealogical results too but this is the cool stuff. » 7/01/13 5:52pm 7/01/13 5:52pm