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.
Read More

Latest Articles

Human Ancestors May Have Butchered Animals 3.4 Million Years Ago
ancient cut marks on a 3.4-million-year-old animal bone
August 20th, 2015
Ancient marks on 3.4-million-year-old animal bones were not caused by trampling — a finding that raises the odds that they were made by deliberate cutting by human ancestors.
Read More »
Human Hands Are Primitive, New Study Finds
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.
Read More »
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.
Read More »
Big Human Relative Sported Modern Hands
The OH 86 hominin phalanx overlaid on a modern human hand.
August 18th, 2015
Scientists have discovered the oldest known fossil of a hand bone yet to resemble that of a modern human. The hand belonged to an unknown human relative who would've been much taller and larger than any of its contemporaries.
Read More »
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.
Read More »
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.
Read More »
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.
Read More »
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.
Read More »
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.
Read More »
Photos: New Human Ancestor Species Discovered
The left half of the lower jaw of Australopithecus deyiremeda.
May 27th, 2015
Read More »