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TOPIC: Homo Sapiens


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Burtele Partial Foot
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"Lucy" Lived Among Close Cousins: Discovery of Foot Fossil Confirms Two Human Ancestor Species Co-Existed



A team of scientists has announced the discovery of a 3.4 million-year-old partial foot from the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia. The fossil foot did not belong to a member of "Lucy's" species, Australopithecus afarensis, the famous early human ancestor. Research on this new specimen indicates that more than one species of early human ancestor existed between 3 and 4 million years ago with different methods of locomotion. The analysis will be published in the March 29, 2012 issue of the journal Nature.
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RE: Homo Sapiens
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Why humans began walking upright

An international team of researchers have discovered that human bipedalism, or walking upright, may have originated millions of years ago as an adaptation to carrying scarce, high-quality resources.
The team of researchers from the U.S., England, Japan and Portugal investigated the behaviour of modern-day chimpanzees as they competed for food resources, in an effort to understand what ecological settings would lead a large ape - one that resembles the 6 million-year old ancestor we shared in common with living chimpanzees - to walk on two legs.

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Researchers Discover Why Humans Began Walking Upright

Most of us walk and carry items in our hands every day. These are seemingly simple activities that the majority of us don't question. But an international team of researchers, including Brian Richmond at the George Washington University, have discovered that human bipedalism, or walking upright, may have originated millions of years ago as an adaptation to carrying scarce, high-quality resources. This latest research was published in this month's "Current Biology."
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Human fossils hint at new species

The remains of what may be a previously unknown human species have been identified in southern China.
The bones, which represent at least five individuals, have been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago.
But scientists are calling them simply the Red Deer Cave people, after one of the sites where they were unearthed.
The team has told the PLoS One journal that far more detailed analysis of the fossils is required before they can be ascribed to a new human lineage.
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Model unlocks human impact on Africa's fire regimes

A model has helped shed light on how human-started fires shaped Africa's landscape, researchers report.
Before human activity became widespread, most fires were caused by lightning strikes during the continent's wet seasons, they said.
As the human population expanded, more fires occurred during the dry season, triggering a shift in the impact of fires on Africa's ecology, they added.

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'Earliest' evidence of violence

A healed fracture found on an ancient skull from China may be the oldest documented evidence of violence between humans, a study has shown.
The individual, who lived 150,000-200,000 years ago, suffered blunt force trauma to the right temple - possibly from being hit with a projectile.

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Early humans' route out of Africa 'confirmed'

A six-year effort to map the genetic patterns of humankind appears to confirm that early people first left Africa by crossing into Arabia.
Ancestors of modern people in Europe, Asia and Oceania migrated along a southern route, not a northern route through Egypt as some had supposed.
The results from the Genographic Project are published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.

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Ancient and modern humans 'may have interbred'

Ancient and modern humans may have interbred, a study published in the journal Plos One suggests.
Scientists analysed human remains found in West Africa, which date to 13,000 years old.

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Skull points to a more complex human evolution in Africa

Scientists have collected more evidence to suggest that ancient and modern humans interbred in Africa.
Reanalysis of the 13,000-year-old skull from a cave in West Africa reveals a skull more primitive-looking than its age suggests.
The result suggests that the ancestors of early humans did not die out quickly in Africa, but instead lived alongside their descendents and bred with them until comparatively recently.

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A recent study by a Stanford University-led research team found that an admixture of certain genes between early modern humans and other species of archaic humans, the Neanderthals and the Denisovans, led to strengthened immune systems among at least some modern humans today.
The researchers performed population genetic studies through gene sequencing to trace the path of various combinations of new variants of immune system genes called the HLA class I genes (which are critical for our body's ability to recognise and destroy pathogens) over the course of early human history.

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