Turbulent environment set the stage for leaps in human evolution and technology 320,000 years ago

A new environmental record for a prehistoric site in Kenya helped researchers figure out how external conditions influenced which of our ancient ancestors lived there, with what way of life.

Richard Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
Oct. 21, 2020 ~11 min

anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils homo-sapiens paleoanthropology stone-tools human-origins middle-stone-age ancient-sediments human-fossils sediment sediment-cores

Chimpanzees in volatile habitats evolved to behave more flexibly – it could help them weather climate change

As in humans, environmental changes provoked chimpanzees to develop a diverse range of behaviours.

Fiona Stewart, Visiting Lecturer in Primatology, Liverpool John Moores University • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~7 min

evolution climate-change human-evolution forests grasslands savanna behaviour

When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

Artefacts suggest a ‘great leap’, a recent evolution of modern intelligence. Fossils and DNA argue that’s an illusion.

Nick Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath • conversation
Sept. 9, 2020 ~9 min

evolution anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils intelligence

Earliest art in the British Isles discovered on Jersey

Fragments of stone engraved with abstract designs are the earliest art in the British Isles.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
Aug. 19, 2020 ~6 min

human-evolution archaeology art

Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

Archaeologists say they've discovered the earliest known bone tools in Europe.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
Aug. 12, 2020 ~5 min


Earliest evidence for humans in the Americas

Humans settled in the Americas much earlier than previously thought, according to new finds from Mexico.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
July 22, 2020 ~4 min

human-evolution archaeology mexico

Evolution: why it seems to have a direction and what to expect next

Evolution seems to lead to increasing complexity of species. But perhaps a dominant, intelligent species like humans will always end up destroying itself.

Matthew Wills, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology at the Milner Centre for Evolution, University of Bath • conversation
June 2, 2020 ~8 min

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Prehistoric human footprints reveal a rare snapshot of ancient human group behavior

The footprints of over 20 different prehistoric people, pressed into volcanic ash thousands of years ago in Tanzania, show possible evidence for sexual division of labor in this ancient community.

Briana Pobiner, Research Scientist and Museum Educator, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
May 14, 2020 ~8 min

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Longer overlap for modern humans and Neanderthals

Modern humans began to edge out the Neanderthals in Europe earlier than previously thought.

By Paul Rincon • bbcnews
May 11, 2020 ~6 min

human-evolution neanderthals

Screens are keeping us connected now – but they're still disruptive to in-person communication

Research shows smartphone use disrupts an essential facet of human connection – eye contact.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, Professor of Psychology, Hunter College • conversation
April 15, 2020 ~6 min

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