Research into differences between chimpanzees and bonobos in ‘preparation’ for tool use reveals intriguing sex bias in object manipulation in young chimpanzees – one that is partly mirrored in human children.
First evidence for a species difference in the innate predisposition for tool use in our closest evolutionary cousins could provide insight into how humans became the ultimate tool-using ape.
New research shows that males with higher ‘reproductive potential’ are better distance runners. This may have been used by females as a reliable signal of high male genetic quality during our hunter-gatherer past, as good runners are more likely to have other traits of good hunters and providers, such as intelligence and generosity.
Analysis of a latrine in Jerusalem that dates back over 500 years finds human parasites common in northern Europe yet very rare in Middle East at the time, suggesting long-distance trade or pilgrimage routes and shedding light on prevalent infectious diseases of the age.
Wealth and power may have played a stronger role than “survival of the fittest”.
Researchers used the new survey of the Messak Settafet to estimate that enough stone tools were discarded over the course of human evolution in Africa to build more than one Great Pyramid for every square kilometre of land on the continent.
Hunter-gatherer past shows our fragile bones result from physical inactivity since invention of farming22 Dec 2014
Latest analysis of prehistoric bones show there is no anatomical reason why a person born today could not develop the skeletal strength of a prehistoric forager or a modern orangutan. Findings support the idea that activity throughout life is the key to building bone strength and preventing osteoporosis risk in later years, say researchers.
Ancient DNA shows earliest European genomes weathered the ice age, and shines new light on Neanderthal interbreeding and a mystery human lineage06 Nov 2014
A genome taken from a 36,000 year old skeleton reveals an early divergence of Eurasians once they had left Africa, and allows scientists to better assess the point at which ‘admixture’ - or interbreeding - between Eurasians and Neanderthals occurred. The latest research also points to a previously unknown population lineage as old as the first population separations since humans dispersed out of Africa.
Millennia-old genetic variant that once provided advantages for survival in cold climates increases risk of hypoglycemia and infant mortality.
New research shows that chimpanzees search for the right tools from a key plant species when preparing to ‘ant dip’ - a crafty technique enabling them to feast on army ants without getting bitten. The study shows that army ants are not a poor substitute for preferred foods, but a staple part of chimpanzee diets.