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The Pit of Bones

Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue (NYT) to Human Origins: The pit of bones hides our oldest DNA.
posted by homunculus on Dec 6, 2013 - 7 comments

"it's quite clear that there's tons of cultural transmission that's just strictly by observational learning."

How Culture Drove Human Evolution
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 4, 2013 - 44 comments

Does success spell doom for Homo sapiens?

State of the Species: Will the unprecedented success of Homo sapiens lead to an unavoidable downfall? [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 28, 2012 - 46 comments

Man the Fat Hunter

Did the disappearance of the elephant caused the rise of modern man? Humans are not good at extracting energy from plants or converting protein to energy. Without fire to allow for better conversion, fat was a vital part of early man's diet. Elephants being slower and larger than many other prey was a prime hunting target. When the number of elephants declined, man had to find other sources. Hunting smaller, faster prey resulted in a change in human evolution. Man became lighter and their brain size increased to handle the requirements for hunting enough animals to provide the necessary fat.
posted by 2manyusernames on Dec 14, 2011 - 17 comments

Finding the past

There are some unique finds that tell us about the early lives of people. But of course there are other ways...
posted by rosswald on Jun 9, 2010 - 10 comments

Sequencing of the Neandertal genome completed

Neandertals are the closest ancestral relatives to modern humans. Today, Nature published a special report on the Neandertal genome, for which a draft sequencing of three billion nucleotides has been completed. This high-throughput sequencing project shows how the genetic relationship between Neandertals and modern Europeans and Asians suggests localized interbreeding between the two species roughly 40-80,000 years ago, complicating the common "out-of-Africa" story of how modern humans originated. Additional research extends this low-coverage, first-pass sequencing with a microarray approach that uncovers specific differences between the human and Neandertal genomes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 6, 2010 - 75 comments

Really Old Skull debases "Out of Africa" theory. . .

Really Old Skull debases "Out of Africa" theory. . . "The find calls into question a widely held hypothesis that the evolution of big brains propelled the exodus of early humans out of Africa."
posted by Espoo2 on Jul 10, 2002 - 25 comments

Um, Bob, where did all the cows go ?

Um, Bob, where did all the cows go ? So much for the theory of how Native Americans and Aborigines have lived in harmony with the land since time began.... Turns out they were just gluttonous killing machines who gorged themselves on steak till all the beasties disappeared (or something like that)
posted by zeoslap on Jun 8, 2001 - 15 comments

I come from a long line of inbreeders.

I come from a long line of inbreeders. No more laughing at them there bills from the hills! It seems all us white folk are related to only 50 frisky ancestors!
posted by srboisvert on May 10, 2001 - 14 comments

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