The very existence of kindness and altruism seems to contradict Darwin’s theory of evolution. So how could kind behaviour have evolved?
The Taung child (foreground) was the first of a long series of human ancestors discovered in Africa.
Recent research suggests that humankind's origins lay outside of Africa. This is the nature of science: a paradigm that cannot be questioned on a regular basis becomes a dogma.
Here’s a modern human skull on the left, and Neanderthal skull on the right.
Maeve, age 8, has a question that has stumped many scientists over the years. And that’s because it’s a surprisingly tricky question to answer. It depends a bit on what you mean by 'person'.
Vandalised site, showing fresh sand along the edges of the slab where it has been lifted and the holes left by the removal of two blocks in the centre.
Latest development in 'Crete feet' find serves as a reminder of the challenges facing dig sites.
The oldest known human footprints, from Africa, are by Australopithecus. So who made the Trachilos footprints?
Experts are intrigued by 5.7m-year-old footprints from Crete but argue we cannot yet know for sure whether they come from a human ancestor.
Foot for thought.
A new study can't rule out the possibility that human ancestors lived on Crete at the same time as they evolved in Africa.
JuliusKielaitis / shutterstock
Larger brains lead to a broader social network.
Sergey Nivens / shutterstock
Our huge brains help maintain complex social relationships, suggests research.
Just like us, but different: recently-discovered
Homo sapiens fossils have a modern face, but an ancient brain case.
Philipp Gunz, MPI EVA Leipzig
New paired research papers have pushed back by 100,000 years the time frame in which humans (Homo sapiens) are thought to have lived in Africa.
The stone flakes are flying, but what brain regions are firing?
Shelby S. Putt
We can't observe the brain activity of extinct human species. But we can observe modern brains doing the things that our distant ancestors did, looking for clues about how ancient brains worked.
When new discoveries are jealously guarded under lock and key, science suffers.
A century-old case of scientific fraud illustrates how hard it is to untangle the truth when access to new discoveries is limited.
Did Puss in Boots have it all wrong?
Cats evolved in hot desert regions where there were lots of small animals to eat. So they evolved feet that are perfect for pouncing on prey, climbing, scratching and jumping from great heights.
Alice Roberts with the ‘hobbit’.
New research on Indonesian fossils reveals clues to an ancient expansion out of Africa.
Our cells have a built-in genetic clock, tracking time… but how accurately?
Stopwatch image via www.shutterstock.com.
How do scientists figure out when evolutionary events – like species splitting away from a common ancestor – happened? It turns out our DNA is a kind of molecular clock, keeping time via genetic changes.
Upper teeth of a Neanderthal who lived about 40,000 years ago.
Anthropologists gather clues about how our ancient ancestors lived from their teeth. What will future anthropologists make of us based on the fossilized pearly whites we'll leave behind?
POJ THEVEENUGUL / shutterstock
We have the penis of a monogamous primate yet our body sizes suggest our ancestors slept around a lot.
How our ancestors ate could explain why today’s humans are mostly right-handed.
The way early humans learned to handle food could explain why the majority of people today are right handed.
All shapes and sizes.
New research uncovers the role of the primate baculum and may explain why humans don’t have one.
The armour of the 380 million year old placoderm fish
Scientists have long believed that our distant cousins are the placoderms, and ancient group of armoured fish. But a new study is casting doubt on that view.
Bonobo Jasongo at Leipzig Zoo has a hunch about what you’re thinking.
Realizing that others' minds hold different thoughts, feelings and knowledge than your own was thought to be something only people could do. But evidence is accumulating that apes, too, have 'theory of mind.'