The oldest known footprint of our species, lightly ringed with chalk. It appears long and narrow because the trackmaker dragged their heel.
This was an area in which early anatomically modern humans survived, evolved and thrived, before spreading out of Africa to other continents.
Close examination of digital and 3D-printed models suggested the fossil needs to be reclassified.
Brian A. Keeling
Scientists had figured a fossil found in Spain more than a century ago was from a Neandertal. But a new analysis suggests it could be from a lost lineage of our species, Homo sapiens.
This whirlwind tour of social history describes how infectious diseases have shaped humanity at every stage. It suggests reducing inequality will give us our best chance of surviving future plagues.
To test the ballistic properties of the stone points found in the Mandrin cave, modern duplicates were created and hafted on to shafts, as they may have been 54,000 years ago.
Laure Metz, Ludovic Slimak
In 2022 we detailed the discovery of 1,500 stone points in France’s Madrin cave. Experiments now show that they could were used as arrowheads, pushing back evidence of archery in Eurasia by 40,000 years.
3D rendering of the tiktaalik, an extinct walking fish.
We can trace our human evolutionary lineage back to fish.
Any hominid fossil find with molar teeth can be plugged into a new equation that reveals its species’ prenatal growth rate.
Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty Images
Using a new equation based on today’s primates, scientists can take a few molar teeth from an extinct fossil species and reconstruct exactly how fast their offspring grew during gestation.
Humans have used technology to adapt to the cold.
Yvette Cardozo / Alamy Stock Photo
Hate winter? The answer may lie in our evolutionary history.
Descendants of the indigenous San people in the Kalahari Desert.
Eric Lafforgue/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Image
The first speech sounds were uttered about 70,000 years ago and not hundreds of thousands of years ago as is sometimes claimed.
Derek R. Audette/Shutterstock
Humanity carries traces of other populations in our DNA – and a new study shows how one of these ancestors has influenced the immune systems of modern Papuans.
New study shows Neanderthals and Homo sapiens had a taste for sharp and bitter food.
Neanderthal reproduction in Trento Museum of Natural History.
Neanderthals were wiped out by chance changes in the environment. The rise of Homo sapiens wasn’t inevitable.
One in 8 billion.
Only insects populations can compare to rising human numbers.
3D rendering of an Neanderthal man.
Zinc in their bones reveal that these early humans were top of the food chain.
Artist: Tom Björklund / Moesgård Museum
Here’s what we can learn from our closest extinct relatives.
During ice ages, ice sheets like the one in Greenland have covered much of Earth’s surface.
Thor Wegner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images
The Earth has had at least five major ice ages, and humans showed up in time for the most recent one. In fact, we’re still in it.
A man identified only as Viktor shows his neighbor’s grave in Bucha, Ukraine. It was too dangerous to go to the cemetery.
Jana Cavojska/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Ukrainian families’ anguish at not being able to bury their loved ones underscores a deep human need, an anthropologist writes.
Where’s next for Homo Sapiens?
We’ll probably be less aggressive and more agreeable, but have smaller brains – a bit like a Golden Retriever, we’ll be friendly, but maybe not that interesting or bright.
Together with artifacts from the past, ancient DNA can fill in details about our ancient ancestors.
Nina R/Wikimedia Commons
A new study doubles the age of ancient DNA in sub-Saharan Africa, revealing how people moved, mingled and had children together over the last 50,000 years.
A photogrammetry image of the tracks. The horizontal and vertical scales are in metres.
Human tracks registered in aeolianites - cemented dune surfaces - are rare at a global level.
Would we see Neanderthals (right) as human if they were around today?
What looks like a bright, sharp dividing line between humans and other animals is really an artefact of extinction.