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

Tags: 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

Tags: evolution anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils intelligence

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

Tags: evolution human-evolution alien-life sixth-mass-extinction

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

Tags: anthropology human-evolution archaeology paleontology human-behavior behavior tanzania paleoanthropology hominins prehistory

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

Tags: human-evolution parents homo-sapiens parenting teamwork smartphones mobile-technology young-children cell-phones

Social distancing increased over the course of human history – but so did empathy and new ways to connect

People have changed over time, growing ever more distant and isolated from others – while at the same time finding new ways and technologies that let individuals connect and feel with others.

Fritz Breithaupt, Provost Professor in Cognitive Science and Germanic Studies, Indiana University, Indiana University • conversation
April 8, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  human-evolution  social-distancing  social-connection  cognitive-science  empathy  novels  evolutionary-psychology  grooming  robert-koch  social-ties

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