Dimwitted Neanderthals? Pioneering research challenges ‘outdated’ assumptions about our ancestors

Dimwitted Neanderthals? Pioneering research challenges ‘outdated’ assumptions about our ancestors

For a long time, paleoanthropologists viewed Neanderthals as being very distinct from our own species, and inherently incapable of sharing ...
‘Our species began as a sort of arboreal rat when dinosaurs ruled the planet’: Early hominids spread around the world via a once-green Arabia

‘Our species began as a sort of arboreal rat when dinosaurs ruled the planet’: Early hominids spread around the world via a once-green Arabia

Ruth Schuster | 
Our species began as a sort of arboreal rat when dinosaurs ruled the planet, and arguments abound over where the ...
Virgin birth? It’s actually been observed in about 80 vertebrate species, and most recently, in sharks

Virgin birth? It’s actually been observed in about 80 vertebrate species, and most recently, in sharks

Alia Shoaib | 
Scientists say a rare shark "virgin birth" may be the first of its kind after a baby shark was born ...
Why did humans develop sophisticated language skills while our ancestral cousins, chimpanzees, did not? Studying childbirth could provide clues

Why did humans develop sophisticated language skills while our ancestral cousins, chimpanzees, did not? Studying childbirth could provide clues

Steven Poole | 
Did a “grammar module” just pop into our ancestors’ brains one day thanks to a random change in our DNA? ...
Baby talk: What we can learn from bats about how human moms and babies communicate

Baby talk: What we can learn from bats about how human moms and babies communicate

Ahana Aurora Fernandez | 
“Mamama,” “dadada,” “bababa” – parents usually welcome with enthusiasm the sounds of a baby’s babble. Babbling is the first milestone ...
Human evolution is accelerating. Here’s how — and why it’s necessary for us to adapt to an unstable world

Human evolution is accelerating. Here’s how — and why it’s necessary for us to adapt to an unstable world

Gid'on Lev | 
For Prof. Ze’ev Hochberg of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, evolution ...
Intriguing new clues revealed about the genetics and evolution of homosexuality

Intriguing new clues revealed about the genetics and evolution of homosexuality

Sara Reardon | 
In a study of data from hundreds of thousands of people, researchers have now identified genetic patterns that could be ...
Why researchers are vacuuming ‘environmental DNA’ from the sky

Why researchers are vacuuming ‘environmental DNA’ from the sky

Teresa Carey | 
Scientists have been using environmental DNA (eDNA) for more than 10 years to measure biodiversity and discover new species, often ...
If evolution encourages reproduction, why do people have same-sex preferences?

If evolution encourages reproduction, why do people have same-sex preferences?

Brendan Zietsch | 
Same-sex sexual behaviour may seem to present a Darwinian paradox. It provides no obvious reproductive or survival benefit, and yet ...
More than 50% of Americans accept the science of evolution — but only 32% of fundamentalist Christians

More than 50% of Americans accept the science of evolution — but only 32% of fundamentalist Christians

Matthew Rozsa | 
Americans are more scientifically literate than ever in 2021 — so much so that creationism has become a minority opinion. And ...
Less than half of cultures around the world indulge in romantic lip kissing — a uniquely human endeavor

Less than half of cultures around the world indulge in romantic lip kissing — a uniquely human endeavor

William Park | 
Less than half of all societies kiss with their lips, according to a study of 168 cultures from around the ...
Many non-human animals end their lives through self-destructive behaviors. Is it suicide?

Many non-human animals end their lives through self-destructive behaviors. Is it suicide?

Richard Pallardy | 
Are non-human animals actually capable of purposely ending their own lives?  ... Famed field biologist George Schaller recounts an instance ...
Children who finish puberty earlier — usually girls — tend to do better in school

Children who finish puberty earlier — usually girls — tend to do better in school

Siw Ellen Jakobsen | 
Girls do better than boys in almost all subjects at school. Many researchers are concerned about the growing differences in ...
Love over food: Canines pass on eating when forced to choose between their owners and snacks

Love over food: Canines pass on eating when forced to choose between their owners and snacks

Jonny Lupsha | 
An analysis of several kinds of research on dogs has concluded that dogs really do love their owners or other ...
Delta won’t be the last: What challenges might future COVID variants bring?

Delta won’t be the last: What challenges might future COVID variants bring?

Dhruv Khullar | 
During this pandemic, we’ve developed and deployed vaccines in real time. Meanwhile, sars-CoV-2 is replicating not in a dozen flasks ...
Is there an evolutionary advantage to feeling pain?

Is there an evolutionary advantage to feeling pain?

Conor Feehly | 
For individuals that have either an acquired or naturally occurring reduced sensitivity to pain, the results can be fatal.... Clearly, ...
What will Covid look like in the years ahead? Young children could be most vulnerable to new variants

What will Covid look like in the years ahead? Young children could be most vulnerable to new variants

Damian McNamara | 
Researchers predict SARS-CoV-2 could become endemic and primarily infect children, thereby shifting risk from older people to toddlers too young ...
Viewpoint: Might embracing fake news and conspiracy theories serve as an evolutionary survival strategy?

Viewpoint: Might embracing fake news and conspiracy theories serve as an evolutionary survival strategy?

Paul Rosenberg | 
Human beings have an evolutionary history, and deception is commonplace in the animal world because it confers evolutionary advantage. There's ...
Male investment: Humans are one of the few species in which men supply a lot more than sperm

Male investment: Humans are one of the few species in which men supply a lot more than sperm

Elizabeth Preston | 
Lee Gettler is hard to get on the phone, for the very ordinary reason that he’s busy caring for his ...
Finding ‘invisible DNA’ floating in the air opens doors to detecting and protecting rare wildlife

Finding ‘invisible DNA’ floating in the air opens doors to detecting and protecting rare wildlife

Robin McKie | 
DNA is in the air – literally. It is wafted around by all the Earth’s creatures, and now scientists have ...
‘A tyrannical clawhold’ on their world: How Tyrannosaurus Rex dominated the prehistoric ecosystem

‘A tyrannical clawhold’ on their world: How Tyrannosaurus Rex dominated the prehistoric ecosystem

Riley Black | 
The sheer size and apparent ferocity of T. rex has been apparent from the outset, but, paleontologists have learned, this ...
Delta has disrupted the timeline for corralling COVID. What can we expect now in the months ahead?

Delta has disrupted the timeline for corralling COVID. What can we expect now in the months ahead?

Ed Yong | 
In May, after the CDC ended indoor masking for vaccinated people, President Joe Biden gave a speech that felt like ...
Delta variant tricks: Will the coronavirus continue to outsmart attempts to contain it?

Delta variant tricks: Will the coronavirus continue to outsmart attempts to contain it?

Laird Harrison | 
The race between the evolution of the virus and the vaccination of human beings boils down to a math problem ...
‘Ghost lineages’: Discovering extinct species in modern animal DNA

‘Ghost lineages’: Discovering extinct species in modern animal DNA

Christie Wilcox | 
Either before, during, or shortly after their migration to the [Tibetan] plateau, H. sapiens got friendly with Denisovans, while their ...
Why is life genetically programmed to die?

Why is life genetically programmed to die?

Aaron Hirsh | 
Epidemics have a way of making one wonder about death. To put it plainly, in the raw form it takes ...
Rethinking ‘The Omega Man’: How viruses alter human DNA

Rethinking ‘The Omega Man’: How viruses alter human DNA

[W]e're celebrating 50 years since the release of The Omega Man, the 1971 film based on Richard Matheson's novel I ...
woman hunter new image

Humans are poor climbers and clumsy jumpers, but boy can we throw. Here’s how and why that happened

Marta Zaraska | 
With the Tokyo Olympics on the horizon, Kara Winger is training hard. “I want to make the top eight in ...
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