Hominids

A recreation of Dragon Man

A 146,000-Year-Old Fossil Dubbed 'Dragon Man' Might Be One of Our Closest Relatives

A mysterious Middle Pleistocene skull from a Chinese well has inspired debate among paleoanthropologists

A virtual reconstruction of the child’s remains found in Panga ya Saidi cave in Kenya

Scientists Discover Oldest Known Human Grave in Africa

The unearthing of a tiny child suggests Africa’s Stone Age humans sometimes practiced funerary rites and had symbolic thoughts about death

These five skulls, which range from an approximately 2.5-million-year-old Australopithecus africanus on the left to an approximately 4,800-year-old Homo sapiens on the right, show changes in the size of the braincase, slope of the face and shape of the brow ridges over just less than half of human evolutionary history.

An Evolutionary Timeline of Homo Sapiens

Scientists share the findings that helped them pinpoint key moments in the rise of our species

This image diagrams the difference between human and chimpanzee models of thumb muscles, which the researchers used to study the evolution of thumb dexterity.

How Dexterous Thumbs May Have Helped Shape Evolution Two Million Years Ago

Fossils and biochemical models show tool-wielding hominins used their hands like we do today

Scientists estimate this pig painting was drawn 45,500 years ago.

45,000-Year-Old Pig Painting in Indonesia May Be Oldest Known Animal Art

Ice Age cave painters flourished in Southeast Asia, where their work adorned rock walls

Compared to other P. robustus males recovered from a nearby cave system called Swartkrans, DNH 155 (pictured here) was much smaller and had more female-like characteristics.

Newly Unearthed Skull Reveals How Ancient Hominids Evolved to Survive a Changing Climate

"Paranthropus robustus" evolved sturdier skulls to be able to eat new, tough vegetation

An overview of the Olorgesailie basin landscape, where the archeological site exists that contains stone weapons and tools

To Adapt to a Changing Environment 400,000 Years Ago, Early Humans Developed New Tools and Behaviors

When the East African Rift Valley transformed dramatically, new weapons arose and trade expanded

Potential human ancestor Homo heidelbergensis used this 480,000-year-old bone hammer to create flint tools.

Cool Finds

Europe's Oldest Bone Tools Hint at Early Hominin Sophistication

480,000 years ago, Homo heidelbergensis used hammers to fashion flint tools in what is now southern England

Roughly 1.4 million years ago, Homo erectus made this hand ax out of a hippopotamus' thigh bone.

Cool Finds

1.4-Million-Year-Old Ax Made of Hippo Bone Found in Ethiopia

Thought to have been made by Homo erectus, the implement adds range and sophistication to the bipedal hominin's toolkit

The remarkably complete skull of a human ancestor of the genus Australopithecus

Here's What 2019 Scientific Discovery Taught Us About Our Human Origins

Six studies rocked the anthropological world from a new branch of the human family to a face only an Australopithecus could love

The 21 bones of the most complete partial skeleton of a male Danuvius guggenmosi.

New Ancient Ape Species Rewrites the Story of Bipedalism

<i>Danuvius guggenmosi</i>, a “totally new and different” species of ape, would have moved through the trees using its forelimbs and hindlimbs equally

Using a geologist’s magnifying glass, Erin DiMaggio carefully scans a piece of volcanic ash in search of tiny minerals that hold the key to determining the age of nearby fossils.

Beyond Dinosaurs: The Secrets of Earth's Past

How Do Scientists Date Fossils?

Geologists Erin DiMaggio and Alka Tripathy-Lang explain techniques for targeting the age of a fossil find

The arrestingly modern hominin at the Neanderthal Museum, near Dusseldorf, is the work of renowned 
paleo-artists Adrie and Alfons Kennis.

What Do We Really Know About Neanderthals?

Revolutionary discoveries in archaeology show that the species long maligned as knuckle-dragging brutes deserve a new place in the human story

Homo neanderthalensis, the earlier relatives of Homo sapiens, also evolved to shed most of their body hair.

Why Did Humans Lose Their Fur?

We are the naked apes of the world, having shed most of our body hair long ago

The surface of mastodon bone showing half impact notch on a segment of femur.

New Research

Remarkable New Evidence for Human Activity in North America 130,000 Years Ago

Researchers say prehistoric mastodon bones bear human-made markings

In a reconstruction, by artist John Gurche, the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum displays what the Hobbit would have looked like in the Hall of Human Origins.

“Hobbits” Disappeared Much Earlier Than Previously Thought

If the tiny hominins ever coexisted with modern humans, the arrangement apparently didn't last long

Comparison of a Neanderthal skull (left) and a human skull (right) with a 55,000-year-old fragment from a possible human-Neanderthal hybrid.

New Research

Humans May Have Had Romantic Rendezvous With Neanderthals 100,000 Years Ago

New DNA evidence suggests that ancient humans got busy with our stocky Neanderthal cousins much earlier than previously thought

A replica of Piltdown Man

How to Solve Human Evolution’s Greatest Hoax

The "discovery" turned out to be the biggest hoax in the history of paleoanthropology

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Tree Climbers, Wood Eaters, and More: The Top 10 Human Evolution Discoveries of 2012

This year's hominid finds illuminate the great diversity and adaptability of our ancient relatives

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Top 7 Human Evolution Discoveries From South Africa

The search for humans' most ancient ancestors began in South Africa, where some of paleoanthropology's most iconic fossils have been found