Articles on Human evolution

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Milling grain meant less wear and tear on neolithic teeth, which had other effects on language. Juan Aunion/Shutterstock.com

Softer, processed foods changed the way ancient humans spoke

Considering language from a biological perspective led researchers to the idea that new food processing technologies affected neolithic human beings' jaws – and allowed new language sounds to emerge.
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades. Duckworth Laboratory

Ancient DNA is a powerful tool for studying the past – when archaeologists and geneticists work together

Ancient DNA allows scientists to learn directly from the remains of people from the past. As this new field takes off, researchers are figuring out how to ethically work with ancient samples and each other.
Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts, Vladimir Uliyanov and Maxim Kozlikin (clockwise from top) examining sediments in the East Chamber of Denisova Cave. Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Author provided

Fresh clues to the life and times of the Denisovans, a little-known ancient group of humans

New studies reveal when the Denisovans and their Neanderthal cousins occupied a cave in southern Siberia. It's the only site known to have been inhabited by them and by modern humans.
The surgical removal of wisdom teeth is far more common than the problems they cause. (Pixabay)

Bad molars? The origins of wisdom teeth

When they cause problems, wisdom teeth don't seem very smart. But they may have been evolution's answer to a coarse diet.
A member of a rare group of 410-million-year-old jawless fishes from Australia meets a mate. along the shoreline (artist’s impression). Nobumichi Tamura

Ancient fish evolved in shallow seas – the very places humans threaten today

New research shows shallow, near-land seas similar to Bass Strait were critical in the early days of fish evolution. These are the waters we need to protect now to ensure ongoing biodiversity.
Necklaces and earrings in traditional Kenyan cultures denote messages about marriage and childbearing. from www.shutterstock.com

How ‘bling’ makes us human

Why is jewellery so important to the story of human evolution? Because it provides a public message – even to people we don't know.
Rampasasa people are from Waemulu village, Flores – near Liang Bua where ‘the Hobbit’ fossils were discovered. Dean Falk, Florida State University

We know why short-statured people of Flores became small – but for the extinct ‘Hobbit’ it’s not so clear

Modern day people of short stature became physically small due to the effects of living on a small island or forested environment. But we're not sure why "the Hobbit" of Flores was so small.

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