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TOPIC: Homo Sapiens


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What came first: the bipedal human ancestor or the grassland encroaching on the forest?

A new analysis of vegetation change in the cradle of humanity over the past 12 million years is challenging long-held beliefs about the world in which our ancestors took shape - and, by extension, the impact it had on them.
The research combined sediment core studies of the waxy molecules from plant leaves with pollen analysis, yielding data of unprecedented scope and detail on what types of vegetation dominated the landscape surrounding the African Rift Valley, including present-day Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, where early hominin fossils trace the history of human evolution.
 
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Cavemen made tools 71,000 years ago

Palaeontologists say they have found small blades in a South African cave proving that man was an advanced thinker making stone tools 71,000 years ago - millennia earlier than thought.
The find suggests early humans from Africa had a capacity for complex thought and weapons production that gave them a distinct evolutionary advantage over Neanderthals, say the authors of a study published in Nature.
Scientists agree that our lineage appeared in Africa more than 100,000 years ago, but there is much debate about when Homo sapiens' cultural and cognitive character began resembling that of modern humans.

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Anthropologist finds evidence of ancient meat eating by hominins

A skull fragment unearthed by anthropologists in Tanzania shows that our ancient ancestors were eating meat at least 1.5 million years ago, shedding new light into the evolution of human physiology and brain development.
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Eunuchs reveal clues to why women live longer than men

Castration had a huge effect on the lifespans of Korean men, according to an analysis of hundreds of years of eunuch "family" records. They lived up to 19 years longer than uncastrated men from the same social class and even outlived members of the royal family. The researchers believe the findings show male hormones shorten life expectancy.
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Humans were already recycling 13,000 years ago

A study at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES) reveals that humans from the Upper Palaeolithic Age recycled their stone artefacts to be put to other uses. The study is based on burnt artefacts found in the Molí del Salt site in Tarragona, Spain. 
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Los humanos ya reciclaban hace 13.000 años

Una investigación de la Universitat Rovira i Virgili y el Instituto Catalán de Paleoecologia Humana y Evolución Social (IPHES) revela que los humanos del Paleolítico Superior reciclaban sus artefactos de piedra para nuevos usos. El estudio se basa en artefactos quemados hallados en el yacimiento de Molí del Salt en Tarragona.
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Conflict and 'boom-bust' explain humans' rapid evolution

What explains the extraordinarily fast rate of evolution in the human lineage over the past two million years?
A leading human origins researcher has come up with a new idea that involves aggression between groups and the boom-bust cycles that have punctuated our spread into new environments.

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'Earliest' evidence of modern human culture found

The earliest unambiguous evidence for modern human behaviour has been discovered by an international team of researchers in a South African cave.
The finds provide early evidence for the origin of modern human behaviour 44,000 years ago, over 20,000 years before other findings.
The artefacts are near identical to modern-day tools of the indigenous African San bush people.

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Early humans settled in Arabia

Stone Age tools uncovered in Yemen point to humans leaving Africa and inhabiting Arabia perhaps as far back as 63,000 years ago, archaeologists report.
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Human ancestor
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Fossils foot bones hint at mystery walker

Scientists have obtained a fascinating new insight into the evolution of humans and our ability to walk.
It comes from the fossilised bones of a foot that were discovered in Ethiopia and dated to be 3.4 million years old.
The researchers say they do not have enough remains to identify the species of hominin, or human ancestor, from which the right foot came.

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