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Walking on two feet

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Grandmother amusing her young companion in the waiting room of the Greyhound Bus Station, New York City, 07/1947 (National Records and Archives Administration, U.S.). Wikimedia commons

Without grandmothers we might not be here at all

As adults, we’re often nostalgic for our childhood. A time when life seemed so much simpler. When we were free from the hassles of money, pressures of work and responsibilities of family and care. When…
Traditional ceremonial dress at Mount Hagan, Papua New Guinea. Wikimedia Commons

Why are humans unique? It’s the small things that count

Can there be any more important a question than, ‘How did we get here?’ Of course, I don’t mean those books we all gawked at as tweens desperate to understand our transforming pubescent bodies. I mean…
Reconstruction of a Neanderthal man in a modern suit, at the Neanderthal Museum. Einsamer Schütze via Wikimedia Commons

How a one night stand in the Ice Age affects us all today

Over the past half decade, ancient DNA research has revealed some surprising aspects to our evolutionary history during the past 50,000 years. Perhaps the most startling of these has been the extent to…
Homo naledi bones. Image: Lee Berger and coauthors 2015 (eLife 2015;4:e09560). Wikimedia Commons

Did ‘rising star’ shine too bright?

Last week was rather exceptional for human evolution science, even for those of us who are used to the extravagances of media attention that surround the field. We were spoilt with the announcement of…
Artist’s reconstruction of a stereotypical Palaeolithic camp scene with staple red meat. Wikimedia Commons

Spare your health, budget, and the planet: ditch the palaeodiet

Interest in the diet of our evolutionary ancestors would ordinarily be a topic of curiosity in only the most obscure of scientific circles. But the popularity of the so-called palaeodiet has brought unprecedented…
Comparrison and differances of size and hight between the African Pigmies, Sudanese, English and Zanzibaris. [Etching By: J. D Cooper In Darkest Africa or the quest, rescue and retreat of Emin Govenor or Equatoria. Henry Morton Stanley Published: 1890.] Wellcome Library, London.

Evolution took many paths to building ‘pygmy’ bodies

For more than two centuries physical anthropologists have been preoccupied with cataloguing and explaining the way humans vary physically across the planet. We mostly differ in familiar ways: body mass…
Human eyes are unique among primates for their range of iris colours and unpigmented sclera. Wikimedia Commons

Making sense of our evolution

The science about our special senses - vision, smell, hearing and taste - offers fascinating and unique perspectives on our evolution. Yet it remains patchy; we know surprisingly little for example about…
Bradshaw rock paintings near King Edward River, Kimberley region of Western Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Aboriginal history rewritten again by ignorant political class

Last week Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm was widely reported as suggesting that people other than Aboriginal Australians may have occupied the Australian continent in the past. At a doorstop…