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Posts Tagged "hominid"

Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Bipedalism, Emotions, Mass deaths, and Gifts

This week on my ResearchBlogging.org column: Could there be evidence of a second type of bipedalism in the hominid family tree? Possibly—though the evidence is scant. At Lawn Chair Anthropology, Zachary Cofran discusses the potential a 3.4 million year old foot may bring to discussions about evolution. How does your liver feel? The Neuroskeptic discusses [...]

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Observations

Human Footprints Discovered on England’s Coast Are Oldest Outside Africa

Happisburgh footprints

  Archaeologists working on the eastern coast of England have found a series of footprints that were made by human ancestors sometime between 780,000 and one million years ago. Pressed into ancient estuary mudflats now hard with age, these prints are the oldest ones known outside of Africa, where humanity got its start. Scientists discovered [...]

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Observations

The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2013

Sahelanthropus tchadensis

Wow. I’ve just spent the last couple days going through the paleoanthropology news that broke in 2013 and I must say it was a banner year. There were so many exciting new findings that bear on scientists’ understanding of just about every chapter of humanity’s seven-million-year saga—from our ancestors’ first upright steps to the peopling [...]

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Observations

Is Australopithecus sediba the Most Important Human Ancestor Discovery Ever?

Australopithecus sediba

Three years ago researchers added a new branch to the human family tree: Australopithecus sediba, a nearly two-million-year-old relative from South Africa. By all accounts it was a dazzling find—two partial skeletons, an adult female and young male, from a site called Malapa just outside Johannesburg. And it has been making headlines regularly since then [...]

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Observations

Brain Shape Confirms Controversial Fossil as Oldest Human Ancestor

Sahelanthropus

HONOLULU–A seven-million-year-old skull found in the Djurab Desert in Chad may indeed represent the earliest known member of the human family. Researchers unveiled the specimen back in 2002 and made quite a splash with their claim that the ancient fossil was our ancestor. They assigned it to a new species, Sahelanthropus tchadensis (nickname: Toumaï) and [...]

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Observations

The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2012

Australopithecus sediba skull

Recent years have brought considerable riches for those of us interested in human evolution and 2012 proved no exception. New fossils, archaeological finds and genetic analyses yielded thrilling insights into the shape of the family tree, the diets of our ancient predecessors, the origins of art and advanced weaponry, the interactions between early Homo sapiens [...]

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Observations

CT Scans Reveal Early Human Fossils inside Rock

Two Australopithecus sediba skeletons from Malapa

Readers of this blog may have noticed that I’m obsessed with a recently discovered member of the human family tree: the nearly two million-year-old Australopithecus sediba, discovered at a site called Malapa near Johannesburg.  There are several reasons for this fixation. For one thing it’s new—it isn’t every day that a previously unknown human relative [...]

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Observations

Ancient Tartar, Other Dental Clues Reveal Unexpected Diet of Early Human Relative

sediba skull

Last fall, on a reporting trip to Johannesburg for a story on the discovery of fossils representing a previously unknown member of human family called Australopithecus sediba, the researchers I met with were buzzing with excitement about, of all things, tartar. That’s right, the crusty deposits that the dentist scrapes off your teeth when you [...]

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