Headlines lauded the work for rewriting our history; for filling gaps in the evolutionary record, while others claimed it had the potential to upend everything we know about our cultures and behaviours.Advanced dating techniques suggest Homo naledi was much younger than thought and may have lived alongside Homo sapiens – the first time it has been demonstrated that another species of hominin survived in Africa.Furthermore, the discovery of remains of an ancient child, and a partial skeleton of an adult male with a remarkably well-preserved skull, adds evidence to support the idea Homo naledi discarded its dead in mass graves.Photos were sent to geologist Pedro Boshoff and paleoanthropologist Lee Berger and excavation began.Comprising of more than 1,550 numbered fossils belonging to 15 distinct individuals of the same species, the discovery presented the largest such find in Africa and the best-known fossil member of our lineage.The fossils show a mix of human and neanderthal features, combined with traits similar to those found on Lucy, one of the oldest known human ancestors.
In the popular coverage of evolution, mate choice too often gets overlooked, in the shadow of natural selection.In tackling the question surrounding a much broader range of species--including our own, Prum offers some provocative and convincing hypotheses on how and why homosexuality evolved.(I imagine, too, that this has started some lively arguments amongst his colleagues who focus exclusively on primates and humans.)So, at the risk of disappointing readers more interested in birds and ducks, I'm going to focus on his discussion of Homo sapiens.Grab A Retirement Saver's Tax CreditPrum pushes back against this tendency and notes its prevalence even in the scientific field.
Female Dragonflies Play Dead To Avoid Horny Males @GrrlScientistHow To Save For Sabbaticals As Well As RetirementPretending to be dead to avoid predators is a rare behavior, but a new study reports that female dragonflies have adapted this behavior to avoid unwanted sexual attention from males of the speciesAlastair Rae via a Creative Commons licenseA adult male human (Homo sapiens) with an adult male moorland hawker (Aeshna juncea).These dragonflies apparently don't understand the word, "no".
For decades, the accepted theory of human migration suggested that Homo sapiens arrived to America around 15,000 years ago, and that they were the very first humans to roam North America.But this week, in a seriously history-changing discovery, researchers revealed that they uncovered evidence of humans living and hunting in what is now southern California a whopping 130,000 years ago.It’s one of the most significant finds in the archeological record, and it rewrites the book on human presence in America.The report, which was published in Nature, focuses on the dating of Mastodon remains that were initially discovered in the early 90s.The bones were found during a highway expansion project, and show evidence of having been broken down and processed by human tools.For decades, scientists didn’t know exactly how old they were, but this new data puts its age at around 130,000 years.
Humans have always been endlessly fascinated with our evolutionary history, and discovering a new species of human that once roamed the Earth is certainly cause for interest.When scientists announced the discovery of a tiny hobbit-like bipod called Homo floresiensis in Indonesia way back in 2003, they thought perhaps it was simply an evolutionary fork of the well-documented Homo erectus, but now they’re not so sure.New research by the Australian National University suggests that the “hobbits” evolved from a much earlier human species, painting an even more interesting picture of their existence.The study, which was published in the Journal of Human Evolution, ruled out a number of theories as to the origin of Homo floresiensis, including the possibility that it was simply a singular dramatic mutation of Homo sapiens.These ancient humans were extremely small compared to what we consider normal today, measuring only about three-and-a-half feet in height, which made determining their specific origin a matter of much scientific curiosityTo accomplish the task, researchers thoroughly studied the remains of florensiensis and were able to come up with 133 data points to compare with other known primitive human species.
It’s a story that stretches back 11 million years, cats have had a long journey from being worshiped by ancient civilisations to being worshiped by the memelords.It’s believed that the earliest ancestors of modern cats started out in Asia and they covered a lot of ground in their hunt for the necessities of life.Puma’s have been known to cover a thousand square kilometers in their lifetime.This nomadic lifestyle spread cat genes across the globe and the species diverged to become all the lions, tigers and bobcats that we know today.As humans came along to pose a threat to the bigger cats, small wildcats made themselves useful.Homo sapiens were storing more and more food that was too great a temptation for rodents.
It’s a story that stretches back 11 million years, cats have had a long journey from being worshiped by ancient civilizations to being worshiped by the memelords.It’s believed that the earliest ancestors of modern cats started out in Asia and they covered a lot of ground in their hunt for the necessities of life.Pumas have been known to cover a thousand square kilometers in their lifetime.This nomadic lifestyle spread cat genes across the globe and the species diverged to become all the lions, tigers and bobcats that we know today.As humans came along to pose a threat to the bigger cats, small wildcats made themselves useful.Homo sapiens were storing more and more food that was too great a temptation for rodents.
Humanity has been granted one last attempt to beat its artificially intelligent overlords: Ke Jie, the world's top-ranked Go player, will face down against DeepMind's AlphaGo in China in a three-game match starting May 23.The odds are not good for Ke Jie: back in January AlphaGo secretly played 51 online matches against some of the world's best players, including Ke Jie, and didn't lose a single one.Still, as Homo sapiens' last redoubt against in silico domination, he has to try.Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind, says the match is part of a larger "Future of Go Summit" in the town of Wuzhen, China—the country where Go was invented some 3,000 years ago.The summit will draw "leading AI experts" from Google and China, and in addition to the marquee event there'll be some experimental matches.In one slightly insulting variation, five human players will team up to try and beat a single AlphaGo AI.
Oh technology is awful, isn t it?How terrible that we live our lives under the jackboot of the Enlightenment, with all of its individual rights and medicines which actually work , so says Mark Boyle in the Guardian today.Boyle, it seems, has apparently given up on modern life - seemingly choosing to live in the middle of nowhere having eschewed the use of technology.He starts his column by lamenting that e-Homo sapiens defend a progressive way of life with its factories, supermarkets, cheap flights and online shopping because the old ways have become alien to us .Apparently the tyranny of progress is all to blame for deforestation and mass extinction.Why oh why - seems to be the subtext - can t we go back to a society where the vast majority of people spent their lives subsistence farming, dying of preventable illnesses and suffering from regular famines when the crops failed?
Scientists given the really shitty job of researching genital warts for the betterment of mankind think they know where they came from.Or at least your great-great-great-times-one-million-grandad, as they believe that the current form of sex warts may have been first transmitted to humans due to sex between Neanderthals and early humans.According to Molecular Biology and Evolution, the Neanderthals and Denisovans that left Africa some 500,000 years ago were loaded with a variant of the human papillomavirus HPV that causes the warts, which was passed on to Homo sapiens after some heavy nights out on the fermented fruit.The researchers explain: "...the interbreeding events between Neanderthal and Denisovan populations with modern human ancestor populations lead to a host-switch through sexual transmission of the HPV16A virus lineage from archaic populations into the modern human ancestors.The HPV16A lineage, thus transmitted, expanded rapidly in the new host populations and became dominant in Eurasia and in the Americas."So it was a case of getting off with someone a bit rough and waking up to regret it.
Scientists given the really shitty job of researching genital warts for the betterment of mankind think they know where they came from.Or at least your great-great-great-times-one-million-grandad, as they believe that the current form of sex warts may have been first transmitted to humans due to sex between Neanderthals and early humans.According to Molecular Biology and Evolution, the Neanderthals and Denisovans that left Africa some 500,000 years ago were loaded with a variant of the human papillomavirus HPV that causes the warts, which was passed on to Homo sapiens after some heavy nights out on the fermented fruit.The researchers explain: "...the interbreeding events between Neanderthal and Denisovan populations with modern human ancestor populations lead to a host-switch through sexual transmission of the HPV16A virus lineage from archaic populations into the modern human ancestors.The HPV16A lineage, thus transmitted, expanded rapidly in the new host populations and became dominant in Eurasia and in the Americas."So it was a case of getting off with someone a bit rough and waking up to regret it.
We often think of these cute little characters as a way to add a graphic element to a tweet or Facebook post, but these simple images are powerful symbols.Emoji are, in fact, compact characters that, because of their visual nature, can communicate an amazing amount of information, such as the subtleties of human emotion.And we certainly can't forget about symbolic systems such as the written word or computer coding.You could make a pretty good argument that the making of graphic marks underpins the foundation of modern society.The Paleolithic was a time of great innovation on many fronts - new tools, new technologies, new territories and, of course, a new species, Homo sapiens, that appeared for the first time on the African landscape about 200,000 years ago.The answer is indirectly, through abstract activities such as the creation of art.
An artistic interpretation of what the newly identified cynodont Bonacynodon schultzi looked like during its lifetime about 235 million years ago during the Triassic.Two weird, mammal-like reptiles that sort of looked like scaly rats, each smaller than a loaf of bread, roamed ancient Brazil about 235 million years ago, likely dining on insects the predators snagged with their pointy teeth, a new study finds.The analysis of two newfound species of cynodont, a group that gave rise to all living mammals, sheds light on how mammals developed from these late Triassic creatures, the researchers said."These new fossils help us understand in more detail the evolution of pre-mammalian forms that gave rise to the group of mammals, in which we humans Homo sapiens are included," the study's lead author, Agustín Martinelli, a paleontologist at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, told Live Science in an email.In Photos: Mammals Through Time Cynodonts predate dinosaurs, first appearing in the fossil record about 260 million years ago, during the Permian period.
Bones and tools found at an archaeological site near the city of Tres Arroyos, Argentina, lend more evidence to the idea that prehistoric people lived in the Americas before another group called the Clovis, researchers have reported.Some of the bones found had signs that they had been butchered by people with stone tools.And dating the bones they discovered reveals that they were roughly 14,000 years old.That s more ancient than when the Clovis people lived in North America, around 13,000 years ago, according to PLOS Research News.Details in the study include the fact that about 14,064 years ago, ancient people hunted/scavenged an extinct horse Equus neogeus and giant ground sloth Megatherium americanum , probably along the border of the temporary lake or another body of water located near the site, they wrote in the study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE.And in a sign that there may have been a designed butchering area, the researchers found a concentration of animal bones in a specific spot.
This new species will coexist peacefully with humans, one Turing Award winner says.Raj Reddy, former founding director of Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, speaks at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum on Sept. 20, 2016.Robots potential to take over the world is a commonly expressed fear in the world of AI, but at least one Turing Award winner doesn t see it happening that way.Rather than replacing mankind, technology will create a new kind of human that will coexist with its predecessors while taking advantage of new tech-enabled tools.So argued Raj Reddy, former founding director of Carnegie Mellon University s Robotics Institute and 1994 winner of the Turing Award, at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany last week.I could not have predicted much of what has happened in AI, Reddy told an audience of journalists at a press conference.
There's an emerging market called Dataism, which venerates neither gods nor man - it worships data.If so, we can also understand the whole of history as a process of improving the efficiency of this system, through four basic methods:There is little point in increasing the mere number and variety of processors if they are poorly connected.Increasing the freedom of movement along existing connections.The first stage began with the cognitive revolution, which made it possible to connect unlimited sapiens into a single data-processing network.In the late modern period, these threads were made stronger and denser, so that the spider's web of Columbus's days became the steel and asphalt grid of the 21st century.
One of the most famous fossils in human evolutionary history is at the center of a new scientific debate.The fossilized skeleton dubbed "Lucy" was part of an extinct species called Australopithecus afarensis, an early relative of Homo sapiens who was among the first hominins to walk upright.She died 3.18 million years ago, and her remains were discovered in the early 1970s in Ethiopia.A study published in Nature this week suggests that a careful analysis of her bones reveals how she died—by falling to her death from a very tall tree.By comparing the way her bones had fragmented with contemporary X-rays from people who fell, they came to the conclusion that the fragmentation of her leg bone was "green," that is, it took place right before she died.It appears that the joint in her leg suffered from extreme compression of the type you'd expect in somebody who fell on their feet from a great height, out of a local tree where nests might be as many as 23 meters off the ground.
This 1.5-million-year-old footprint suggests that Homo erectus, an early human ancestor, had feet that were very similar to those of modern humans.The human ancestor Homo erectus may have walked similarly to the way modern humans do today, new research shows.In 2009, paleontologists discovered human-like footprints near the eastern shores of Lake Turkana in Ileret, Kenya.The fossilized tracks suggested similarities to modern human feet, including an arch, a rounded heel and a big toe aligned parallel with the other toes.But at 1.5 million years old, these prints were much too old to belong to Homo sapiens, or modern humans.Now, researchers think they know why there were so many similarities: Homo erectus may have walked like we do today.
A tribute to humanity s first interstellar spacecraft, what happened before recorded history, how being bullied as a child changes you as an adult, and the worst employees ever hired all await you in this week s Lifehacker Brain Buffet.Maybe you didn t know that there were actually as many as six separate species of hominid on Earth before Homo Sapiens Sapiens managed to establish dominance.Maybe you re curious how far back in time you could go, find a human baby, and then pass that baby off as a modern human.Who s The Worst Employee You Ever Hired?You don t have to be a manager to answer this question, as the responses over in this Quora thread reveal.Sure, there are plenty of stories about people who overestimated their skills, were just plain awful at their jobs, but this story stood out for me as an example of how sometimes it s just a matter of making sure you always get someone good for a job, and not just someone you know, from Cherie Wilkerson:
Homo sapiens evolved about 200,000 to 150,000 years ago in Africa, but our story as a species stretches back much further than that with early human ancestors.And the evolution of Homo sapiens is itself a tangled tale, full of unanswered questions and gothic family melodrama.Here are a few facts you may not know about the human evolutionary story.And they had been wandering around Eurasia for hundreds of thousands of years.For humans, this number hovers around 15,000 individuals, which is pretty insane when you consider our actual population size is seven billion.There are a lot of theories about why this might be, ranging from an apocalyptic disaster caused by the eruption of the Toba volcano, to something more mundane like interbreeding among small populations.
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