Hominids

Adult male orangutans have large cheek pads and a big throat pouch, but it can take decades to develop such traits.

Why Some Orangutans Never Want to Grow Up

Some males take decades to fully mature; this arrested development can improve their odds of mating success

A grandmother in Ethiopia carries her grandchild.

Grandmothers Reduce Incidence of Breast Cancer?

By helping raise their grandchildren, grandmothers might have influenced the spread of certain genes, a new study suggests

The soft spot and metopic suture are clearly visible on the skull of the young human (right) and absent in the young chimpanzee (left). Those features are present, although harder to see, in the fossil of a young Australopithecus (center).

Why Do Babies Have Soft Spots?

Humans' big, fast-growing brains and unique style of walking explain why it takes so long for infant skulls to develop

Modern humans may have used art to maintain ties between social groups. Traveling between distant social groups may have led to better spatial reasoning, a new study suggests.

Superior Navigation Secret to Humans’ Success?

Greater spatial intelligence may have given modern humans an edge over Neanderthals, a new study proposes

What's going on in this guy's head? Read How to Think Like a Neanderthal to find out.

A Human Evolution Summer Reading List

As you plan for summer vacation, don't forget to pack one of these reads on Neanderthals, human origins, new fossils or the first people in the New World

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Meat Helps Human Populations Grow

A new study links eating meat to shorter periods of nursing, allowing women to bear more children

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Snoozing Chimps Offer Glimpse of Hominid Sleeping Habits

Most chimpanzees build tree nests when it's time to go to bed, but some prefer sleeping on the ground; the same was probably true for early hominids

A piece of the elbow from Australopithecus anamensis found in northern Kenya.

The Top Seven Human Evolution Discoveries in Kenya

For more than 40 years, fossil hunters in Kenya have been excavating a treasure trove of hominid fossils, including a few species found nowhere else

A gorilla in the Congo wading in a swamp

A New Aquatic Ape Theory

An artist's reconstruction of Homo georgicus

Four Species of Homo You've Never Heard Of

Homo helmei is one of several obscure species of our own genus that are represented by a few fossils that don’t fit neatly into existing hominid species

The Australopithecus africanus fossil, Mrs. Ples, was indeed female.

Mrs. Ples: A Hominid with an Identity Crisis

In confirming the sex of one of the most iconic hominid fossils, researchers are helping explain the great physical diversity in Australopithecus africanus

New research suggests hominids were building fire by at least one million years ago.

The Earliest Example of Hominid Fire

New research reveals hominids were building fires one million years ago, pushing back the origins of controlled fire by more than half a million years

The eight bones of the new fossil foot discovered in Ethiopia.

New Hominid Fossil Foot Belonged to Lucy’s Neighbor

A 3.4-million-year-old fossil foot shows that early hominids had more than one way of walking around

A replica of one of the Peking Man skulls

Mystery of the Lost Peking Man Fossils Solved?

A new investigation of the famous fossils that went missing during World War II suggests that the bones may be buried beneath a parking lot in China

Although chimpanzees usually walk on all fours, sometimes they walk on two legs. New research suggests chimps walk bipedally to carry valuable resources, which might explain why bipedalism evolved in hominids.

What Chimps Could Tell Us About How Humans Started Walking on Two Legs

A new study of chimpanzees suggests that early hominids evolved upright, two-legged walking to carry valuable resources away from competitors

An artist's conception of the unusual humans living in southwestern China 11,500 to 14,300 years ago.

New Hominid Species Unearthed in Chinese Caves?

Fossils discovered in China may belong to a new species of hominid or they may be evidence that modern humans were more diverse thousands of years ago

The skull of Sahelanthropus. What does its body look like?

Top Ten Hominid Fantasy Finds

You can't predict what the next major hominid discovery will be, but you can daydream about it

Cro-Magnon was one of the first fossils of an ancient human ever discovered.

Meet the Contenders for Earliest Modern Human

Scientists have several candidates for the title of earliest Homo sapiens

A reconstruction of Gigantopithecus

Did Bigfoot Really Exist? How Gigantopithecus Became Extinct

Dental, dietary and environmental clues help explain why the world's largest ape vanished

Humans are the only hominids with true chins.

Why Do Humans Have Chins?

Scientists have several explanations for why modern humans are the only hominids that have chins

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