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
Neanderthal Table Manners: They Used Toothpicks, Too
Neanderthal Man
April 14th, 2016
Scientists have evidence that Neanderthals may have used prehistoric toothpicks to get annoying bits of food out of their teeth.
Read More »
Nom Nom! Paleo Diet Helped Humans Evolve Speech
early man, holocene
March 9th, 2016
Scientists who forced volunteers to chew raw goat flesh (yes, chew) have found that such meat-gnawing likely caused human teeth and jaws to shrink throughout our evolutionary history.
Read More »
Did Hobbits Live Alongside Modern Humans?
A team of researchers prepares for more recent archaeological excavations in the limestone cave called Liang Bua, on the Indonesian island of Flores.
March 30th, 2016
The extinct human lineage nicknamed "the hobbit" for its miniature body may have vanished soon before or soon after modern humans arrived on the hobbits' island home, rather than living alongside modern humans for thousands of years as was thought.
Read More »
Food for Thought: Human Teeth Likely Shrank Due to Tool Use
Homo ergaster Skull
February 24th, 2016
Wisdom teeth may have shrunk during human evolution as part of changes that started with human tool use, according to a new study.
Read More »
Fossils Shed New Light on Human-Gorilla Split
February 10th, 2016
Fossils of what may be primitive relatives of gorillas suggest that the human and gorilla lineages split up to 10 million years ago, millions of years later than what has been recently suggested, researchers say.
Read More »
Why Neanderthals Likely Fathered Few Kids with Modern Humans
a neanderthal in a cave
April 10th, 2016
Neanderthal men carried a Y chromosome that often may have led to miscarriages if or when Neanderthals and modern humans got together, new research suggests.
Read More »
Fertile Crescent? Neanderthals & Humans Likely Bred in the Mideast
New genetic research suggests that Neanderthals and modern humans interbred about 100,000 years ago, which is much earlier than thought.
February 17th, 2016
Neanderthals potentially had steamy trysts with modern humans in the Middle East some 100,000 years ago, earlier than thought. The findigns are based on genes from modern humans found in a Neanderthal.
Read More »