Human Origins

Humans are unique creatures on the planet, though it wasn't always this way. Long ago, some bizarre human relatives, such as Nutcracker Man and a Homo species whose miniature bodies resembled the hobbits on Lord of the Rings, roamed Earth. Scientists are even finding evidence that modern humans crossed paths with some of our relatives, with fossils suggesting Homo sapiens may have had sex with Neanderthals and even a newly discovered species called the Denisovans. In news and features, we will cover human evolution and origins, revealing the mysteries of humanity, details on human ancestors and the evolutionary steps that led to modern humans.
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Latest Articles

Human Evolution's Biggest Questions May Find Answers in New Analysis
skull of Australopithecus sediba
July 22nd, 2015
A huge database of human fossils suggests hobbits were a separate human species and the recently unearthed species Australopithecus sediba may be the ancestor of the human lineage, say researchers who point out their findings will surely be controversial.
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Chimp Chefs? These Primates Could Cook, If Given the Tools
A chimpanzees at Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Sanctuary in the Republic of Congo, operated by the Jane Goodall Institute.
June 3rd, 2015
You may not want to hand them an apron and spatula just yet, but chimpanzees have many of the smarts to cook food, researchers found in a series of experiments with sweet potatoes and carrots.
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Photos: New Human Ancestor Species Discovered
The left half of the lower jaw of Australopithecus deyiremeda.
May 27th, 2015
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Human Hands Are Primitive, New Study Finds
ape-human-02
July 14th, 2015
Human hands may be more primitive than those of chimps, more closely resembling hands of the last common ancestor of humans and chimps. The findings suggest human-evolution scenarios that rely on a chimplike last common ancestor may be flawed.
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Humans Trekked Out of Africa Via Egypt, Study Suggests
A reconstruction of the human skull discovered in Tam Pa Ling.
May 28th, 2015
The major gateway for modern humans out of Africa may have been Egypt, a new genetic analysis suggests. This finding may help scientists reconstruct how humans evolved as they wandered across the globe.
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World's Oldest Stone Tools Predate Humans
Sammy Lokorodi, a resident of Kenya's northwestern desert who works as a fossil and artifact hunter, led the way to a trove of 3.3 million-year-old tools.
May 20th, 2015
The oldest handmade stone tools discovered yet predate any known humans and may have been wielded by an as-yet-unknown species, researchers say.
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Fossil Teeth Suggest Humans Played Role in Neanderthal Extinction
Upper Palaeolithic modern human infant skull from Sungir (left) and the Neandertal infant skull  of Roc de Marsal (right).
April 23rd, 2015
Modern humans may have arrived in Western Europe at about the same time as Neanderthals went extinct there, according to fossil teeth. The findings suggest modern humans caused the demise of Neanderthals, either directly or indirectly.
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Modern Human Possibly Had Neanderthal 'Great-Great-Grandparent'
The jawbone of a human who lived between 42,000 and 37,000 years ago showed some Neanderthal features.
June 22nd, 2015
One of the earliest modern humans in Europe had a surprisingly recent Neanderthal ancestor, possibly a great-great-grandfather. The finding suggests the two species interbred in Europe and more recently than once thought.
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Mysterious Humanlike Species May Have Lived Alongside 'Lucy'
The holotype upper jaw of Australopithecus deyiremeda found on March 4, 2011, in the central Afar region of Ethiopia.
May 27th, 2015
A newfound humanlike species may be a contender for the ancestor of the human lineage, researchers say. This ancient relative of humanity lived alongside the famous Lucy about 3.4 million years ago, revealing diverse humanlike species once lived together.
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Photos: Mysterious Human Ancestor Wielded Oldest Stone Tools
scientists dating sediments in Kenya
May 20th, 2015
Inn the desert badlands of northwestern Kenya, scientists have discovered stone tools that date back some 3.3 million years, long before modern humans were on the scene.
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