In a paper published this week in Science, an international team of scientists share details of the most ancient fossil of Homo erectus known and discuss how these new findings are forcing us to rewrite a part of our species' evolutionary history.
A Homo erectus skullcap found northwest of Johannesburg in South Africa has been identified as the oldest to date, in research published in Science. The hominin is a direct ancestor of modern humans, experienced a changing climate, and moved out of Africa into other continents. The discovery of DNH 134 pushes the possible origin of Homo erectus back between 150,000 and 200,000 years.
The oldest known animals and plants preserved in amber from Southern Gondwana are reported in Scientific Reports this week. Gondwana, the supercontinent made up of South America, Africa, Madagascar, India, Antarctica and Australia, broke away from the Pangea supercontinent around 200 million years ago. The findings further our understanding of ecology in Australia and New Zealand during the Late Triassic to mid-Paleogene periods (230-40 million years ago).
Researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found a new species of sandgrouse in six to nine million-year-old rocks in Gansu Province in western China. The newly discovered species points to dry, arid habitats near the edge of the Tibetan Plateau as it rose to its current extreme altitude.
A new study reinforces the concept that Neanderthal DNA has been woven into the modern human genome on multiple occasions as our ancestors met Neanderthals time and again in different parts of the world.
The great cormorant has more sensitive hearing under water than in air. This new knowledge may help protect vulnerable bird species.
The DNA sequencing of a healthy German shepherd offers scientists new insight into the evolution of the domestic dog while also enabling dogs to be screened for hip and other diseases much more accurately.
Using precise imaging technology to scan fossil skulls, researchers found that as early as 3 million years ago, children had a long dependence on caregivers.
Researchers have found unexpected fossil traces of a temperate rainforest near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the continent had an exceptionally warm climate in prehistoric times.
New artifacts uncovered at the Waim archaeological site in the highlands of New Guinea -- including a fragment of the earliest symbolic stone carving in Oceania -- illustrate a shift in human behavior between 5,050 and 4,200 years ago in response to the widespread emergence of agriculture, ushering in a regional Neolithic Era similar to the Neolithic in Eurasia.