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Lucy is forty!

November 24, 2014

Lucy, the three million year old fossil skeleton, turns 40 today. Om  November 24, 1974 a young paleoanthropologist named Donald Johanson was returning to camp. He glanced over his shoulder and something caught his eye. A bit of bone protruding from the sloping ground.

Living High

October 23, 2014

Human residence at high altitude for prolonged periods is confirmed in a Podcast issued by the journal Science this week.

Oldest Human Genome Reported

October 23, 2014

The finding of the oldest human genetic material is reported this week. A femoral shaft (thigh bone without ends to fit with hip and knee)was found in Siberia and dated to 45,000 years ago.

Revisiting the Hobbit

October 23, 2014

On the tenth anniversary of the announcement of a close human relative, Homo floresiensis, nicknamed The Hobbit, noted paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer revisits the find in an article in Nature this week.

Johanson on Twitter

October 07, 2014

Donald Johanson, discoverer of the famous fossil "Lucy" and narrator of the Documentary Becoming Human on this website,can now be followed on Twitter.

First Evidence of Neanderthal Art?

September 04, 2014

Neanderthals were capable of abstract expression, according  to a paper published this week by European archeologists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

Earlier Dates for Neanderthal Extinction

August 25, 2014

Recent recalculation of dates associated with bone and artifacts found at 40 Neanderthal sites has determined the last Neanderthals became extinct between 39,000 and 41,000 years ago.

Ancient Denisovan genes enable modern Tibetan to handle high altitude

August 14, 2014

The authors of a paper in Nature this week  conclude a modification of a haplotype found in the Denisovan genome apparently has given modern Tibetans (and their ancestors) an adaptation to high altitude, thus avoiding the hypoxia thinner air causes in individuals lacking this genetic combination.

New look at the Neanderthal diet

July 02, 2014

The Nature Podcast this week reports (from another journal; an interesting finding from Germany: an indication Neanderthals may have consumed more vegetables than previously thought.

Indicative Fossil from Georgia

October 17, 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.

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