Ancient hominin walked like a human but climbed like an ape

Early hominins used their upper limbs to climb like apes and their lower limbs to walk like humans, according to new fossil evidence. In 2015, mining excavations in Malapa, South Africa, revealed fossil vertebrae trapped in cement-like rock called breccia. Analysis revealed the vertebrae to be two million years old, from the lower back of … Continue reading Ancient hominin walked like a human but climbed like an ape

Ancient human body size linked to climate change

The average body size of humans over the past million years is strongly linked to temperature, according to an international team of scientists. Over the course of human evolution, our bodies and brains have generally been increasing in size. But the driving mechanisms behind these changes are not well understood; hypotheses range from environmental factors … Continue reading Ancient human body size linked to climate change

Oldest human burial in Africa unearthed

About 78,000 years ago, at the mouth of a yawning cave complex in today’s south-eastern Kenya, someone placed the body of a three-year-old child on its side in a purpose-dug grave and covered it with earth from the cave floor. Whatever else was said or done in those moments is lost in time, but this … Continue reading Oldest human burial in Africa unearthed

Why do humans have bigger brains than apes?

Human brains grow three times larger than those of our primate cousins – and researchers have just figured out how.  In a study led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, researchers identified a molecular “switch” that can make ape and human brain organoids grow like the other. “This provides some … Continue reading Why do humans have bigger brains than apes?

Important steps on the Arabian Peninsula

Around 120,000 years ago, someone trudged across the Arabian Peninsula, with horses, camels and even elephants. We don’t know who it was, but their footprints remain at the gateway between Africa and Eurasia, according to researchers who have spent time exploring and investigating the fossilised imprints. In a paper in the journal Science Advances, an … Continue reading Important steps on the Arabian Peninsula

Why not all twins are identical

When a mother gives birth to twins, the offspring are not always identical or even the same gender. Known as fraternal twins, they represent a longstanding evolutionary puzzle. Identical twins arise from a single fertilised egg that accidentally splits in two, but fraternal twins arise when two eggs are released and fertilised. Why this would … Continue reading Why not all twins are identical