Articles on Human evolution

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I’m more of a cricket man, really. Ben Birchall/PA

By studying animal behaviour we gain an insight into our own

In the field of animal behaviour, there is one topic that is almost guaranteed to get your study in the popular press: showing how an animal behaves just like humans. This can be solving problems, using…
Spotting the difference between skulls - this is the Dmanisi D4500 early Homo cranium - is trickier than it seems. Photo courtesy of Georgian National Museum

Of heads and headlines: can a skull doom 14 human species?

A newly discovered 1.8 million-year-old skull from Eastern Europe has been pitched as disproving a decades-old paradigm in human evolution. Its discoverers claim the find sinks more than a dozen species…
Detailed excavations of a Bolivian large mound known locally as Isla del Tesoro (Treasure Island) have revealed evidence of humans living in the region much earlier than first thought. Lombardo U, Szabo K, Capriles JM, May J-H, Amelung W, et al. (2013)

Hidden in middens: new clues of earliest known Bolivian Amazon humans

Researchers have discovered the earliest evidence yet of humans living in the Bolivian Amazon, putting the first known human…
Our brains predispose us to a quick fix, but with the right leadership we could choose a path to different future. Scott Ogilive

Wanted: political leader with a vision for a sustainable future

A sustainable future remains within our grasp but - thanks to the way human brains work - only governments can implement many of the necessary strategies. Our political leaders have a unique responsibility…
Baboons can be shy, just like you. Arno Meintjes Wildlife

Hungry baboons are a lesson in human personality

Our individual, varied personalities are among the traits often cited as those that distinguish us from the rest of the animal kingdom. However, as we, like the rest of life on Earth, are products of natural…
The Hobbit was thought to have lived around 18,000 years ago. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Archaeologist who discovered the Hobbit dies

The archaeologist who helped discover the extinct Homo species Flores Hobbit, Professor Mike Morwood, has died after a struggle…
Food from the Stone Age has raised doubts about the causes of the human revolution. Breville

Shellfish size may disprove cause of ‘human revolution’

About 50,000 years ago, modern humans left Africa and began occupying the rest of the world. The common thought is that a…
The key to becoming the dominant species on the planet. Gabriel-Alexandre Decamps

What makes us human: genetics, culture or both?

In Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, a group of our ape-like ancestors encounter a towering black rectangle somewhere in an African desert. Something in them changes. A seed is sown. Everything…
People from opposite ends of Europe may still share many common ancestors, the genome study found. http://www.flickr.com/photos/evilerin

Family ties: study finds all Europeans are related

Scientists have uncovered what, for some couples, may be an uncomfortable truth: all people of European descent are related…
The discovery of the skeleton of the Homo floresiensis has sparked significant debate among evolutionary scientists. Ryan Somma

Saga of ‘the Hobbit’ highlights a science in crisis

To state the obvious: human evolution is not without its drama – and the latest salvo in the ongoing Hobbit, or Homo floresiensis, battle confirms this yet again. The 2004 announcement of Homo floresiensis…
Prune fingers help us handle slippery objects more efficiently, suggesting that evolution, not osmosis, causes hands to wrinkle when wet. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nhanusek

How finger wrinkles help us handle slippery stuff

Wrinkly fingers help improve handling of slippery objects in wet conditions, a new study has found, suggesting that evolution…
Our brains haven’t evolved to consider the long-term consequences of behaviour that brings short-term rewards. Patrick van IJzendoorn

Don’t trust your Stone Age brain: it’s unsustainable

Cognitive dissonance is that uncomfortable feeling we have when we know we should invest in solar panels but the 46″ wide screen TV wins out; we know we should catch the bus but we take the car anyway…
Different people can interpret facial expressions differently. Rishi S

Surprise! Facial expressions aren’t necessarily universal

You can tell a lot about a person’s emotional state by looking at their face. A quick glance can give you an idea of whether a person is, say, happy or angry, allowing you to modify your behaviour accordingly…

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