Neanderthals Were More Promiscuous Than Modern Humans?

Also great with spears. These were days when you did NOT make your wife mad!

Fossil finger bones of early human ancestors suggest that Neanderthals were more promiscuous than human populations today, researchers at the universities of Liverpool and Oxford have found.

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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

foot

“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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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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Mutations Make Evolution Irreversible: By Resurrecting Ancient Proteins, Researchers Find That Evolution Can Only Go Forward

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Fish fossil. Researchers resurrected and manipulate the gene for a key hormone receptor as it existed in our earliest vertebrate ancestors more than 400 million years ago.

A University of Oregon research team has found that evolution can never go backwards, because the paths to the genes once present in our ancestors are forever blocked. The findings — the result of the first rigorous study of reverse evolution at the molecular level — appear in the Sept. 24 issue of Nature.

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Discovery Of Novel Genes Could Unlock Mystery Of What Makes Us Uniquely Human

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A baby chimp (Pan troglodytes) and his handler looking at each other.

Humans and chimpanzees are genetically very similar, yet it is not difficult to identify the many ways in which we are clearly distinct from chimps. In a study published online in Genome Research, scientists have made a crucial discovery of genes that have evolved in humans after branching off from other primates, opening new possibilities for understanding what makes us uniquely human. Continue reading… “Discovery Of Novel Genes Could Unlock Mystery Of What Makes Us Uniquely Human”

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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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Hobbits are Human

Hobbits are Human

Perhaps Hobbits were just deformed ugly people…

It could be any human skull, but this one is in fact much smaller and comes with a lot more controversy. In 2006, South African paleoanthropologist Lee Berger discovered this skull and thousands of other human bones piled in corners, buried under sand, or cemented to walls by dripping flowstone (the mineral that makes stalagmites) in a pair of burial caves in the Pacific island nation of Palau.

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