ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "paleoanthropology"

@ScientificAmerican

Popular special edition adapted for eBook format: Becoming Human: Our Past, Present and Future*

Becoming Human cover

We humans are a strange bunch. We have self-awareness and yet often act on impulses that remain hidden. We were forged in adversity but live in a world of plenty. Who are we? What is to become of us? To these age-old questions, science has in recent years brought powerful tools and reams of data. [...]

Keep reading »
Guest Blog

Tim White’s response to “scientific commons” blog post

Editor’s Note: This post is a response to a Scientific American Observations blog post, "When should a scientist’s data be liberated for all to see?" I was very surprised to find that we have (yet again) been singled out, this time in your online Observations section: "When should a scientist’s data be liberated for all [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Ancient Indonesian Cave Paintings Force Rethink of Art’s Origin

Cave painting of a babirusa

Archaeologists have determined that artwork found in limestone caves on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi is far older than previously thought. First documented in the 1950s, the images–stencils of human hands and depictions of animals—were assumed to be less than 10,000 years old. Paintings older than that would not survive in such a tropical environment, [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Co-Discoverer of Homo sapiens’s Little Hobbit Cousin Leaves Large Scientific Legacy

Mike Morwood

Leading Australian archaeologist Mike Morwood, co-discoverer of the extraordinary human “hobbits,” has died. He was 62. Morwood, who passed away on July 23 from cancer, made important contributions in research areas ranging from the rock art of Australia’s Kimberly region to the seafaring capabilities of Homo erectus. But he will be best remembered for a [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Caveman Couture: Neandertals Rocked Dark Feathers

Neandertal wearing feathers

GIBRALTAR—Jordi Rosell removes a thumbnail-size piece of reddish-tan bone from a sealed plastic bag, carefully places it under the stereomicroscope and invites me to have a look. Peering through the eyepieces I see two parallel lines etched in the specimen’s weathered surface. Tens of thousands of years ago, in one of the seaside caves located [...]

Keep reading »
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 [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Rival Anthropologists Donald Johanson and Richard Leakey Reunite after 30-Year Rift

Donald Johanson and Richard Leakey

On May 5 famed paleoanthropologists Donald Johanson and Richard Leakey convened at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to discuss human origins. It is the first time Leakey and Johanson–longtime rivals–have shared a stage since a public falling out in 1981. Viewers in the live audience and those who tuned in [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

30 years After Televised Spat, Rival Anthropologists Agree to Bury the Hand-Ax

Paleoanthropology is a discipline known as much for its feuds as for its findings. Among the best known of these clashes is a longstanding one between two of the field’s most famous scientists, Donald Johanson and Richard Leakey. Both have led expeditions that made such extraordinary fossil discoveries as the 3.2-million-year old "Lucy" skeleton from [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Fossil footprints of early modern humans found in Tanzania

MINNEAPOLIS—Newly discovered fossil footprints at a site in northern Tanzania on the shore of Lake Natron capture a moment in time around 120,000 years ago when a band of 18 humans—early members of our own species, Homo sapiens—traipsed across wet volcanic ash to an unknown destination. Brian Richmond of George Washington University unveiled the stunning [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

How to excavate a human burial: Lessons from a dinosaur expert

SACRAMENTO—It is one of the most poignant scenes ever captured in the human fossil record—a woman and two children buried together some 5,300 years ago on a bed of flowers, holding hands. They lived by the shores of a shallow freshwater lake in what is now Niger, at a time when the Sahara was green. [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X