New research on our internal trade-off when physical and mental performance are put in direct competition has found that cognition takes less of a hit, suggesting more energy is diverted to the brain than body muscle. Researchers say the findings support the ‘selfish brain’ theory of human evolution.
New research uses innovative data modelling to predict which species acted as an intermediary between our ancestors and those of chimpanzees to carry HSV2 – the genital herpes virus – across the species barrier.
The flexible physiology of Barbary macaques in responding to extreme environmental conditions of their natural habitat may help shed light on the mechanisms that allowed our ancestors to thrive outside Africa, say researchers. New study also presents the first evidence for male primates boosting their metabolic physiology for mating.
Evolutionary ‘trade-off’ between size of throat and testes discovered in howler monkeys furthers Darwin’s theory of sexual selection and corresponds to mating systems: males with larger throats but smaller testes often have exclusive access to females, while those with larger testes share mates.
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.
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.
A campaign has been launched to provide a Mandela Professorship in African Archaeology at the University of Cambridge.
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.
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.
Research into lower limb bones shows that our early farming ancestors in Central Europe became less active as their tasks diversified and technology improved. At a conference today, Cambridge University anthropologist Alison Macintosh will show that this drop in mobility was particularly marked in men.