Stone Age Humans Needed More Brain Power… Who knew

Dad?….

Stone Age humans were only able to develop relatively advanced tools after their brains evolved a greater capacity for complex thought, according to a new study that investigates why it took early humans almost two million years to move from razor-sharp stones to a hand-held stone axe.

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Neanderthals with STYLE!

Um…. Time Machine please?

The theory that later Neanderthals might have been sufficiently advanced to fashion jewellery and tools similar to those of incoming modern humans has suffered a setback. A new radiocarbon dating study, led by Oxford University, has found that an archaeological site that uniquely links Neanderthal remains to sophisticated tools and jewellery may be partially mixed.

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New Human Species Discovered: Mitochondrial Genome of Previously Unknown Hominins from Siberia Decoded

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Archaeologists in the Denisova Cave in August 2005 where the tiny piece of finger bone was found.

An international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig has sequenced ancient mitochondrial DNA from a finger bone of a female found in southern Siberia. She comes from a previously unknown human species, which lived about 48,000 to 30,000 years ago in the Altai Mountains in Central Asia.

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Barefoot Running: How Humans Ran Comfortably and Safely Before the Invention of Shoes

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“Running barefoot or in minimal shoes is fun but uses different muscles,” said Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman. “If you’ve been a heel-striker all your life, you have to transition slowly to build strength in your calf and foot muscles.”

New research is casting doubt on the old adage, “All you need to run is a pair of shoes.”

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Is the Hobbit’s Brain Unfeasibly Small?

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These are the skulls of Homo floresiensis (left) and Homo sapiens (right).

Homo floresiensis, a pygmy-sized small-brained hominin popularly known as ‘the Hobbit’ was discovered five years ago, but controversy continues over whether the small brain is actually due to a pathological condition. How can its tiny brain size be explained? Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology have tackled this question in the context of a comprehensive assessment of the evolution of brain and body size throughout the larger primate family.

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Dinosaur Extinction Grounded Ancient Birds, New Research Finds

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Emus. New research suggests that ancestors of the African ostrich, Australasian emu plus cassowary, South American rheas and New Zealand moa became flightless independently, in close association with the extinction of the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

An abundance of food and lack of predators following the extinction of dinosaurs saw previously flighted birds fatten up and become flightless, according to new research from The Australian National University.

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Why Does a Human Baby Need a Full Year Before Starting to Walk?

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Why does a human baby need a full year before it can start walking, while a newborn foal gets up on its legs almost directly after birth?

Why does a human baby need a full year before it can start walking, while a newborn foal gets up on its legs almost directly after birth? Scientist have assumed that human motor development is unique because our brain is unusually complex and because it is particularly challenging to walk on two legs. But now a research group at Lund University in Sweden has shown that human babies in fact start walking at the same stage in brain development as most other walking mammals, from small rodents to elephants.

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Greening of Sahara Desert Triggered Early Human Migrations out of Africa

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The Sahara Desert on the border of Morocco and Algeria the way it looks today.

A team of scientists from the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and the University of Bremen (Germany) has determined that a major change in the climate of the Sahara and Sahel region of North Africa facilitated early human migrations from the African continent. The team’s findings will be published online in the Nov. 9th installment of Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. Among the key findings are that the Sahara desert and the Sahel were considerably wetter around 9,000, 50,000 and 120,000 years ago than at present, allowing for the growth of trees instead of grasses.

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Growing Sea Lamprey Embryos Dramatically Alter Genomes, Discard Millions Of Units Of DNA

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Close-up of the adult sea lamprey’s jawless, suction-cup like mouth and its circles of rasping teeth and toothed tongue.

Researchers have discovered that the sea lamprey, which emerged from jawless fish first appearing 500 million years ago, dramatically remodels its genome. Shortly after a fertilized lamprey egg divides into several cells, the growing embryo discards millions of units of its DNA. (Pics)

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Geography And History Shape Genetic Differences In Humans

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New research indicates that natural selection may shape the human genome much more slowly than previously thought. Other factors — the movements of humans within and among continents, the expansions and contractions of populations, and the vagaries of genetic chance – have heavily influenced the distribution of genetic variations in populations around the world.

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