Human Evolution

Researchers analyzed flint tools found at the Evron Quarry in Israel.

Cool Finds

When Did Early Humans Start Using Fire? To Find Answers, Scientists Enlist Artificial Intelligence

By analyzing flint tools, researchers find new evidence of an 800,000-year-old fire in northern Israel

The tooth from Laos thought to belong to a Denisovan girl

Ancient Molar Found in Laos Could Help Fill in a Gap in Human History

Researchers believe the tooth belongs to a Denisovan girl, making it the first fossil evidence of these hominins in Southeast Asia

A gorilla sleeps in a forest in Rwanda.

Why Humans Sleep Less Than Their Primate Relatives

Ancient humans may have evolved to slumber efficiently—and in a crowd

Homo heidelbergensis, a species whose skull is pictured here, likely lived in regions that overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe and Homo sapiens in Africa—according to climate modeling results released this week.

How Did Climate Change Affect Ancient Humans?

Sophisticated climate models were paired with evidence from the archaeological record to reveal where ancient humans may have lived and evolved

Filling in genome gaps could help scientists better the genetic basis for certain diseases and lead to new medical discoveries.

Good News

Scientists Have Finally Sequenced a 'Gapless' Human Genome

Scientists have deciphered the missing eight percent of our genetic blueprint, setting the stage for new discoveries in human evolution and disease

Using human genomes, researchers have developed a massive family tree identifying nearly 27 million ancestors dating back more than 100,000 years ago. 

New Research

Largest Human Family Tree Identifies Nearly 27 Million Ancestors

Researchers create massive genealogical network dating back 100,000 years

Scientists tested 16 hearth locations inside Lazaret Cave near Nice, France, to determine how early humans used fire.

New Research

Why Early Humans Built Fires in the Center of Lazaret Cave

A new study suggests pre-Neanderthals carefully placed their hearths to minimize smoke exposure while maximizing room for activities

Neronian points found in Grotte Mandrin

Discovery of Ancient Baby Tooth Places Humans in Western Europe 10,000 Years Earlier Than Previously Thought

The archeologists also uncovered a number of Neanderthal artifacts suggesting the two species coexisted in the area

Scientists identified an odor receptor that detects a synthetic musk used in fragrances, and another that detects underarm odor.

Humans' Sense of Smell May Be Worse Than Our Primate Ancestors'

The recent study also identified two new scent receptors for musk and body odor

The remote Kibish Formation, in southern Ethiopia, features layered deposits more than 300 feet thick that have preserved many ancient human tools and remains. 

East Africa's Oldest Modern Human Fossil Is Way Older Than Previously Thought

Analysis of ash from a massive volcanic eruption places the famed Omo I fossil 36,000 years back in time

Richard Leakey's most notable find came in 1984 when he uncovered a near-complete Homo erectus skeleton dated about 1.5 million years ago. The skeleton dubbed Turkana Boy is 40 percent complete and is the most near-complete fossil skeleton of a human ancestor ever found.

Famed Paleoanthropologist and Wildlife Conservationist Richard Leakey Dies at 77

His team's discovery of early human skulls and skeletons cemented Africa as the cradle of humanity

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Evotourism ®

Seven New Things We Learned About Human Evolution in 2021

Paleoanthropologists Briana Pobiner and Ryan McRae reveal some of the year's best findings in human origins studies

From amazing firsts on Mars to the impacts of climate change on Earth, these science stories stood out as the most important of 2021

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2021

Thrilling discoveries, hurdles in the fight against Covid and advancements in space exploration defined the past year

Archaeologists unearthed the body of a female infant at a 10,000-year-old burial site in the Arma Veirana cave in Italy.

Cool Finds

Baby Buried With Care 10,000 Years Ago Found in Italian Cave

The rare interment suggests that some hunter-gatherer societies imbued female infants with full personhood

The footprints from site A (left) look similar to those excavated from site G (right), but they are much wider. 

A Set of Ancient Footprints May Have Belonged to an Unknown Human Ancestor

The prints were originally attributed to bears, but further analysis reveals that they don't match bears—or any known human ancestors either

The 'Ubeidiya site today is an expanse of grasses. Concealed from this view are slabs of fossilized pebbly clay, a source of ancient finds that have helped scholars learn about the journeys of Homo erectus.

Evotourism ®

What Drove Homo Erectus Out of Africa?

Excavations at a site in northern Israel are at the heart of a debate about the species' migrations

New research suggests these human-like footprints found in Crete may by 6.05 million years old.

New Research

New Research Suggests Human-Like Footprints in Crete Date to 6.05 Million Years Ago

The findings could upend scientists' understanding of human evolution—but the paper has proven controversial

Believed to be the world's oldest jewelry, the perforated shells date to about 142,000 years ago.

Cool Finds

Are These Snail Shells the World's Oldest Known Beads?

Found in a Moroccan cave, the prehistoric jewelry dates to between 142,000 and 150,000 years ago

A mutation in a gene called TBXT be behind the sudden loss of great ape's tails, according to researchers.

Why Humans Don't Have Tails

Scientists pinpointed a gene that could explain why monkeys have the extra appendage, while people don’t

The researchers used carbon dating of seeds above and below the footprints to determine their age.

Cool Finds

Prehistoric Footprints Push Back Timeline of Humans' Arrival in North America

Found in New Mexico, the fossilized impressions date to between 21,000 and 23,000 years ago, a new study suggests

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