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Articles on Human evolution

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A full set is two on the top and two on the bottom. Sebastian Kaulitzki/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Why do people have wisdom teeth?

Two dental experts explain that these furthest-back molars may be a not-so-necessary leftover from early human evolution.
In small-group, subsistence living, it makes sense for everyone to do lots of jobs. gorodenkoff/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Forget ‘Man the Hunter’ – physiological and archaeological evidence rewrites assumptions about a gendered division of labor in prehistoric times

Female bodies have an advantage in endurance ability that means Paleolithic women likely hunted game, not just gathered plants. The story is written in living and ancient human bodies.
A general view of Wadi Gharandal riverine wetland, along the Jordan Rift Valley, showing palm trees concentrated at the centre of the wadi near the active spring. Mahmoud Abbas

New path for early human migrations through a once-lush Arabia contradicts a single ‘out of Africa’ origin

The findings reveal a close association between climatic conditions and early human migrations out of Africa.
Research shows that sleep deprivation impairs communication between brain regions and brain blood flow, damages brain wiring and makes a young brain look like an aged brain. (Shutterstock)

Sleep deprivation benefited our ancestors, yet harms us now — but staying fit may help us cope

Ancient humans chose to sleep less, which had evolutionary benefits. For modern humans, sleeping less is futile and detrimental, but fitness may be a powerful ally in today’s epidemic of sleep loss.
Wikimedia

Major new research claims smaller-brained Homo naledi made rock art and buried the dead. But the evidence is lacking

Homo naledi had a brain less than half the size of our own. Yet the new research claims it had cognitive abilities far beyond what we might expect.
Close examination of digital and 3D-printed models suggested the fossil needs to be reclassified. Brian A. Keeling

Enigmatic human fossil jawbone may be evidence of an early Homo sapiens presence in Europe – and adds mystery about who those humans were

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.
An ape that lived 21 million years ago was used to a habitat that was both grassy and wooded. Corbin Rainbolt

Wooded grasslands flourished in Africa 21 million years ago – new research forces a rethink of ape evolution

Contrary to the idea that apes evolved their upright posture to reach for fruit in the forest canopy, the earliest known ape with this stature, Morotopithecus, lived in more open grassy environments.

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