Hominids

A replica of a Peking Man, or Homo erectus, skull on display in China.

The Mystery of the Missing Hominid Fossils

Seventy years ago, an important collection of "Peking Man" fossils disappeared in China. They are still missing today

The skeleton of Oreopithecus bambolii

Human Evolution’s Cookie Monster, Oreopithecus

For the past 60 years, scientists have argued over the enigmatic, human-like fossils of the nine-million-year-old Italian ape

Sea otters have teeth that resemble those of Paranthropus

Strange Animal Models of Human Evolution

What do sea otters, wolves and capuchin monkeys reveal about our hominid ancestors?

The outline of a mastodon skeleton, found at a pre-Clovis site in Washington, indicating where a spear hit the animal.

The First Americans

Neanderthals’ successful adaptation to climate change may have contributed to their extinction by leading to more interactions with humans.

Were Neanderthals Victims of Their Own Success?

A new archaeological study shows how Neanderthals' ability to adapt to changing climates may have led to the species' eventual extinction

An artist’s reconstruction of Australopithecus afarensis, a species that can be called a hominid or a hominin.

What’s in a Name? Hominid Versus Hominin

You may have noticed that our ancestors are increasingly called hominins, which is the result of researchers revising how they classify primates

These 125,000-year-old stone tools were found in the United Arab Emirates.

Taking a Southern Route Out of Africa

A reconstruction of a Neanderthal, which was named after Germany’s Neander Valley

A Hominid Dictionary

Hominids have complicated names, but their scientific monikers are less mysterious when their Latin, Greek and African roots are decoded

Hominid fossils dating to 1.8 million years ago have been found in Dmanisi, Georgia. Researchers are using computers to find more fossils in the region.

Computers Are Good Fossil Hunters

New technology is allowing researchers to narrow their searches for places where ancient hominids were likely to have lived, traveled and left fossils

The molar tooth of a Denisovan

Modern Humans Once Mated with Other Species

Genetic studies reveal that some modern humans carry DNA from extinct hominid species, evidence of ancient interbreeding

In primates, brain size correlates with group size.

Humans Evolved Big Brains to Be Social?

Some scientists think humans and other primates evolved big brains in response to the social challenges of living in large groups

You don’t have to go to South Africa to see Mrs. Ples, an Australopithecus africanus fossil.

The Best Places to See Hominid Bones Online

It's hard to find hominid bones in museums, but it's easy to see them on the Internet

An artist’s rendition of a group of Neanderthals living in a mountainous region of Eurasia.

Neanderthals: Made for Mountaineering?

Neanderthals' short legs made them well-suited for walking in mountain environments

An abalone shell recovered from Blombos Cave and a grindstone covered in red ochre.

The Earliest Known Artist’s Studio

The discovery of a 100,000-year-old art studio in Africa hints at when modern human behavior emerged

The Taung Child was killed by an eagle about three million years ago.

How Africa Became the Cradle of Humankind

A fossil discovery in 1924 revolutionized the search for human ancestors, leading scientists to Africa

Skeletons of Australopithecus sediba (left and right) compared to Lucy (center), or Australopithecus afarensis

Welcome to Hominid Hunting

Smithsonian's newest blog tracks the latest developments in the field of human evolution

In 1961, HAM the chimpanzee became the first upright hominid to go into space.  After his death in 1983, he was interred at the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

Famous Animal Gravesites Around the World

It's not just Kentucky Derby winners that are buried with great honor

Ancient meditation might have strengthened the mind's ability to connect symbols and meanings, eventually causing gene mutations that favored modern memory.

Meditate on It

Could ancient campfire rituals have separated us from Neanderthals?

Anthropologists recently found fossils of Paranthropus robustus, also called robust australopithecines, in an excavation site in South Africa. Paranthropus coexisted with human ancestors Homo habilis and Homo erectus as recently as 1.5 million years ago. Some anthropologists had believed that Paranthropus' limited diet caused its extinction, but new evidence from the fossils suggests that Paranthropus had a varied diet that included both hard and soft plants as well as herbivores.

Teeth Tales

Fossils tell a new story about the diversity of hominid diets

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