Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology focuses on matters regarding the origins of humankind. The Institute’s researchers study widely-differing aspects of human evolution. They analyse the genes, cultures and cognitive abilities of people living today and compare them with those of apes and extinct peoples. Scientists from various disciplines work closely together at the Institute: Geneticists trace the genetic make-up of extinct species, such as Neanderthals. Behaviourists and ecologists, for their part, study the behaviour of apes and other mammals.
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.’
Ever since the Neandertal (Homo neanderthalensis) type fossil was discovered in the Neander Valley of Germany in 1856, the species has been variously portrayed as knuckle-dragging cavemen and primitive…