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Humans vs. apes: Women are the secret factor explaining how we evolved to populate the world

The populations of the great apes were once nearly equal. Now, one great ape species—Homo sapiens—outnumbers the rest by almost ...
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What caused anatomically modern Homo sapiens to evolve into behaviorally modern people?

At some point, from around 40,000 years ago in Europe, we see evidence of these behaviourally modern humans in a ...
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Ancient African savanna was like a ‘chess board’, broadening the minds of early humans as they hunted for prey

Northwestern University researchers recently discovered that complex landscapes—dotted with trees, bushes, boulders and knolls—might have helped land-dwelling animals evolve higher ...
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We’re still searching for a key piece of our evolutionary tree—our most recent ancestor

Humans’ most recent ancestor, the species that predated our kind, remains shrouded in mystery. Anthropologists still don’t know what species ...
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7 things we learned about human evolution in the past decade, including that we are older than we thought

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s “David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins,” here are some of the ...
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Gods of genetic engineering: With the end of ‘Homo sapiens naturalis’ approaching, what is our place in nature?

Our society has evolved so much, can we still say that we are part of Nature? If not, should we ...
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Massive genetic analysis shows how our ancestors ‘diversified, migrated and mixed’ around the world

A new study has provided the most comprehensive analysis of human genetic diversity to date, after the sequencing of 929 ...
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Mysterious African skull could be part of undiscovered ‘ghost population’

A mysterious but well-preserved hominid skull found nearly a century ago comes from a population that lived in Africa around ...
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New ‘DNA clock’ finds that if our genes had their way, humans would have a ‘natural’ lifespan of 38 years

A genetic “clock” lets scientists estimate how long extinct creatures lived ...
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DNA from 4 ancient children shed light on diversity of humankind’s African origins

Four ancient youngsters, one pair from around 8,000 years ago and another from about 3,000 years ago, have opened a ...
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Our ancestors may have evolved the ability to talk 27 million years earlier than we thought

Some scientists have theorized that it only became physically possible to speak a wide range of essential vowel sounds when ...
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Was it ‘bad luck’—not ancient humans—that drove Neanderthals to extinction?

Neanderthals may have gone extinct due to chance, and not, as some researchers previously thought, due to competition for resources ...
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This ancient ape may tell us when our ancestors started walking on two legs

Fossils of a newly-discovered ancient ape could give clues to how and when walking on two legs evolved. The ability ...
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Extra copies of Denisovan, Neanderthal DNA helped humans adapt to ancient environments

University of Washington geneticist PingHsun Hsieh and his colleagues found Neanderthal and Denisovan versions of some genes in the genomes ...
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Humans ‘are not so special after all’: Neanderthals also knew how to start fires, evidence suggests

At some point, our ancestors harnessed the power of the flame to keep warm, cook food, produce new materials, shoo ...
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Neanderthals were well suited for ‘explosive’ short sprints, not long-distance marathons

Homo sapiens are well-designed for loping along for long distances across open landscapes—especially when compared to Neanderthals. They had legs and ...
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Studying human evolution faces major challenge: Our ancestors lived in ‘ecosystems unlike any found today’

To understand the environmental pressures that shaped human evolution, scientists must first piece together the details of the ancient plant and animal ...
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From hominids to animals: Who lived in Siberia’s famous Denisova Cave?

For thousands of years, Siberia’s Denisova Cave was home to various bands of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans. But as ...
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Evolution, the human diet and the meat vs. plant conundrum

Evidence suggests our hominin ancestors turned to meat when climate change reduced resource-rich vegetation. The signatures of these changes may ...
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‘Beneficial archaic DNA’ still present and impacting humans today

Most Neanderthal variants exist in only around 2 percent of modern people of non-African descent. But some archaic DNA is ...
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If humans never evolved, would Earth still have intelligent life? This evidence suggests the answer is yes

The paths available to evolving organisms are far from limitless ...
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How genes from long-extinct Neanderthals and Denisovans live on in modern human DNA

When the Neanderthal genome was first sequenced in 2010 and compared with ours, scientists noticed that genes from Homo neanderthalensis ...
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Have we finally identified humanity’s direct ancestor? Controversial claim challenged

Humans evolved from a group of ape-like hominins known as Australopithecine, but scientists aren’t [sure] which species is our direct ...
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Do humans have a ‘ghost’ ancestor? Artificial intelligence thinks so.

A third archaic human species may have been identified, this time with deep learning methods ...
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Why human evolution is far from over—and may be speeding up

Global studies of human DNA show that natural selection continues to change who we are ...
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Were humans superior to Neanderthals? Or just luckier?

Prof Clive Finlayson, director of the Gibraltar Museum, explains why some old assumptions about the intellectual capabilities of our evolutionary ...
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Fossils fill ‘missing link’ gap between early humans and predecessors

Early humans were still swinging from trees two million years ago, scientists have said, after confirming a set of contentious ...
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Why don’t humans have fur? We have theories, but no answers

Evolutionary theorists have put forth numerous hypotheses for why humans became the naked mole rats of the primate world. Did we adapt ...