Tag Archives: Evolution

Humanity’s Origin Story Just Got More Complicated

by George Dvorsky, Gizmodo

Human evolution was messy, with multiple human species living and interbreeding at the same time, in a convoluted process that eventually led to us. Such is the emerging narrative in anthropology, and it’s a theory now bolstered by three fascinating new studies released today.

Not too long ago, anthropology and archaeology students were told that modern humans, formally known as Homo sapiens, could trace their evolutionary origins back in time by following a tidy, linear chain of ancestral species. Much of this thinking had to do with the paltry amount of available paleontological and archaeological evidence, but it also had to do with simplistic and biased views of biology, in which human evolution was equated with a steady march of progress.

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Cooperation Between Hunter-gatherers Accelerated Human Evolution

by University of Zurich, Ancient Origins

Humans began developing a complex culture as early as the Stone Age . This development was brought about by social interactions between various groups of hunters and gatherers, a UZH study has now confirmed. The researchers mapped the social networks of present-day hunter-gatherers in the Philippines and simulated the discovery of a medicinal plant product.

Around 300,000 years ago, our ancestors lived in small communities as hunters and gatherers. This lifestyle likely played a central role in humanity’s success, as it enabled humans to start sharing and combining their individual knowledge with others and in this way come up with innovative solutions. This unique capacity is what distinguishes us from our closest relatives, the chimpanzees.

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‘Profound’ evolution: Wasps learn to recognize faces

by Cornell University, Phys.org

One wasp species has evolved the ability to recognize individual faces among their peers—something that most other insects cannot do—signaling an evolution in how they have learned to work together.

A team led by Cornell University researchers used population genomics to study the evolution of cognition in the Northern paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus. The research suggests the wasps’ increasing intelligence provided an evolutionary advantage and sheds light on how intelligence evolves in general, which has implications for many other species—including humans.

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Scientists discovered something ‘shocking’ that could rewrite a key part of human evolution

by Gene Kim and Jessica Orwig, Business Insider

Human hands are capable of performing incredibly complex movements like no other parts of the body. But it’s been a long-term mystery of how they evolved into their current form. A group of researchers — Tetsuya Nakamura, Andrew R. Gehrke, Justin Lemberg, Julie Szymaszek, and Neil H. Shubin — unveiled a new study that shows evidence of where human hands might have come from.

Watch the video here…