Paleoanthropologists now also say a primitive-looking relative to modern humans was likely much smarter than the current understanding of the primitive hominins would suggest.
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.
DNA from Neanderthals and a mysterious branch of humanity called Denisovans has been detected in the ancient mud of caves holding no fossilized remains of those individuals.
New research on Indonesian fossils reveals clues to an ancient expansion out of Africa led by human ancestors nicknamed "hobbits."
Scientists have found what they are saying could be the oldest evidence of human activity in North America — the marked bones of a mastodon dating back some 130,000 years.
A new study suggests that it is unlikely ancient hominins cannibalized each other as an easy alternative to going out and hunting.
Scientists have observed a chimpanzee cleaning the teeth of her adopted son, suggesting that humans might not be the only species with funerary rituals.
Fossils unearthed in China show a strange patchwork of features, with the large brains of modern humans; the low, broad skulls of earlier humans; and the inner ears of Neanderthals.
The ancient relative of humanity dubbed "Lucy" may have been one of a harem of gals who mated with a single male, according to research that suggests her species was polygynous.
Humans can't seem to keep a tail, suggests new research that finds our early ancestors lost tails not just once, but twice.
Neanderthals and modern humans interbred long ago, but evolution has purged many of our caveman relative's genes from modern human genomes, a new study finds.
A group of humans migrating out of Africa some 40,000 to 70,000 years ago mingled with an as-yet unknown branch of humanity, three new studies have found.
Ancient human migrations out of Africa may have been driven by wobbles in Earth's orbit and tilt that led to dramatic swings in climate, a new study finds.
Scientists found that modern-human footprints and the tracks left behind by Homo erectus are nearly indistinguishable.
The most recently discovered extinct human species may have lived less than 1 million years ago, suggesting the small-brained hominin lived alongside several other hominins.
The newfound ancestors may have been even littler than the hobbits, and date much further back in time, from some 700,000 years ago.
Scientists have evidence that Neanderthals may have used prehistoric toothpicks to get annoying bits of food out of their teeth.