October 17th, 2013
Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia is the well known site of the first evidence of Homo erectus outside of Africa and once more has yielded a rich find according to a paper in the journal Science this week. Known informally as Skull 5 and assigned the number D4500, this complete skull required no reconstruction.
October 8th, 2013
The questions of when and why intelligent speech developed among humans continue to puzzle researchers. The increasing complexity of fashioning tools, from the simplest of stone implements to heat treatment and forging of metals, has been considered by some researchers as a proxy for intelligent speech but views differ as to where along the spectrum of increasing complexity did speech arise.
August 2nd, 2013
A small event can have large consequences. So it is with a single gene controlling the production of an enzyme called lactase. Lactase enables infant mammals to digest lactose, the principal sugar in mother's milk ensuring the newborn has a reliable source of nutrition until able to digest solid food.
August 2nd, 2013
BecomingHuman.org likes Facebook! And folks fascinated by the six million year human career can find BecomingHuman - the website with news and features on paleoanthropology - on Facebook. Check out our Facebook page. Let us know what you think.
June 9th, 2013
Two papers published in recent weeks demonstrate again the rigor of the scientific method. The first concerned a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal tooth from Belgium, while the other pertained to the controversial Australopithecus sediba fossils from South Africa.
May 19th, 2013
At a conference held earlier this month in Cold Spring Harbor NY the leader of the team exploring the ancient cave in Central Asia called Denisova (photo below) announced startling results from the team’s genetic analyses.
April 21st, 2013
Masters of the Planet
by Ian Tattersall
Palgrave MacMillan 2012
266 pp., illistrations, $17.64 from Amazon
Reviewed by Jay Greene
April 14th, 2013
A puzzling set of fossils, discovered near Johannesburg in 2008 and surrounded by controversy from the first, are back in the news and both the puzzle and the controversy are no nearer resolution. Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand and his son uncovered the first of these fossils.
February 20th, 2013
The world famous 3 million year old fossil nicknamed Lucy has been touring the United States for the past five years and is now headed home to her place of origin, Ethiopia. Discovered by Donald Johansson, founder of the Institute of Human Origins, in 1974 is making her last stop in the US and is on exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California through April 28.
February 9th, 2013
Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science
Author: Christoph Irmscher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 2013. 448 pp. $35
Reviewed by Kevin Padian in Nature