Human Evolution

Roger Federer hits a forehand shot at Wimbledon. The tennis great has called his racket an extension of his arm.

How Did Humans Evolve to Use Everyday Tools?

An anthropologist explains why we experience many objects, from tennis rackets to cars, as extensions of our bodies

Short attention spans could be helpful for foragers, since switching quickly between food sources when exploring could lead to a higher yield, researchers suggest.

ADHD Traits Might Have Helped Hunter-Gatherers Collect More Food While Foraging, Study Suggests

Participants who self-reported ADHD behaviors were better at an online berry-picking game than those who did not report such traits

In a study of great apes' playful antics, chimpanzees seemed to enjoy slapping adults, especially those that were dozing off.

Great Apes Love to Tease, Poke and Pester, Suggesting the Urge to Annoy Is Millions of Years Old

The desire to get a rise out of others is a 13-million-year-old trait humans and great apes share with a common ancestor, new research suggests

A reconstruction of how the newly discovered wall could have served as a hunting structure during the Stone Age, trapping deer alongside a body of water.

Stone Age Wall Discovered Beneath the Baltic Sea Helped Early Hunters Trap Reindeer

Made up of some 1,600 stones, the submerged “Blinkerwall” might be Europe's oldest known megastructure

A fragment of early human bone uncovered in the excavation in Ranis, Germany

Humans and Neanderthals Lived Side by Side in Northern Europe 45,000 Years Ago, Study Finds

Archaeologists identified bone fragments of prehistoric modern humans in Germany, suggesting several millennia of coexistence with Neanderthals before the species disappeared

Genes that significantly increase risk of developing multiple sclerosis were introduced to northwestern Europe by herders who migrated from the east around 5,000 years ago.

Ancient DNA From Eurasian Herders Sheds Light on the Origins of Multiple Sclerosis

Genetic variants linked to the risk of MS were brought to Europe during a migration around 5,000 years ago, a new study finds—and they might have helped herders survive

An artist's impression of Gigantopithecus blacki near a forest in southern China.

What Caused the Mysterious Extinction of 'Giganto,' the World's Largest Ape?

The massive primates were unable to shift their diet to keep pace with a changing climate, according to a new study, forcing them to eat less nutritious bark and twigs

These fossilized teeth belonged to a Propliopithecus chirobates, a type of early primate that lived between 29 million and 35 million years ago.

Early Primates May Have Feasted on Soft, Sweet Fruits

An analysis of more than 400 fossilized teeth suggests the creatures weren't eating many seeds, nuts or other hard foods

An artist's depiction of a person carving a pendant from bones of a giant sloth roughly 25,000 to 27,000 years ago. Research this year suggested humans and the sloths lived in Brazil at the same time, strengthening evidence that our ancestors populated the Americas earlier than thought.

Thirteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2023

Smithsonian paleoanthropologists reveal some of the year’s most fascinating findings about human origins

Chimpanzees and bonobos may have the longest social memory of any non-human animal.

Chimpanzees and Bonobos May Remember Faces for More Than 20 Years

The great apes, which are humans' closest living relatives, appeared to recognize photos of their former acquaintances in a study, even decades later

Early risers may be able to thank their Neanderthal ancestors.

Neanderthal DNA May Help Explain Why Some People Are Early Risers

A new study finds a link between Neanderthal DNA and modern human genes related to the internal body clock, or circadian rhythm

Neanderthals have held our fascination ever since we first identified their remains.

Here's What We Know About Neanderthals So Far

Today, thanks to new artifacts and technologies, findings about our closest relatives are coming thick and fast

Bonobos from different social groups will groom each other and share food.

Like Humans, Some Bonobos Cooperate With Outsiders

We might not be the only primates to display helpful behavior toward members of a different social group, a new study suggests

Female chimps at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, in 2005. The new study followed 185 chimps in Uganda's Kibale National Park for 21 years.

Wild Female Chimpanzees Go Through Menopause, Study Finds

Until now, menopause had not been documented in wild, non-human animals, except for a few species of toothed whales

An illustration of the Homo erectus child with her mother in the Ethiopian highlands, two million years ago

Two Million Years Ago, This Homo Erectus Lived the High Life

Dating of a child's fossilized jaw and teeth suggest our relatives lived at altitude earlier than once thought

The oldest hunter-gatherer basketry in southern Europe, dating to 9,500 years ago.

Archaeologists Uncover 9,500-Year-Old Woven Baskets and Europe's Oldest Sandals

Items found in a Spanish cave are older than previously thought, a new study suggests, calling into question "simplistic assumptions" about early humans

Artistic reconstruction of a group of hominins in direct competition for carrion with a hyena

One Million Years Ago, Our Human Relatives May Have Challenged Giant Hyenas for Carcasses

Groups of hominins might have successfully scavenged large kills, new modeling finds

The excavation team uncovering the wooden structure. It was unearthed along the Kalambo River in Zambia at a site called Kalambo Falls.

Archaeologists Uncover Notched Logs That May Be the Oldest Known Wooden Structure

The interlocking pieces, found near a waterfall in Zambia, date to 476,000 years ago—before Homo sapiens evolved

Outside of Earth, is there any place a human could survive unprotected for even ten seconds?


 

Could Humans Survive Unprotected Outside of Earth's Atmosphere for Even Ten Seconds?

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

The core formula of a new study in Science that suggests our ancestors may have survived a bottleneck 900,000 years ago

Our Human Ancestors Very Nearly Went Extinct 900,000 Years Ago, Genetics Suggest

A study proposes that the population that gave rise to modern humans may have been reduced to roughly 1,300 reproducing individuals

Page 1 of 18