Oldest Hominin Footprints Found Outside of Africa

The Laetoli hominin footprints have finally met their match. A group of footprints dating between 850,000 and 950,000 years ago were reported in coastal Happisburgh, the United Kingdom, as seen in a publication in Plos One today. The work was headed by Nick Ashton of the British Museum. Footprints are rarely preserved prehistorically—their survival generaly... Continue Reading →

Bill Nye takes on Young Earth Creationism

Yesterday, young earth creationist Ken Ham hosted household name Bill Nye at the Creation Museum to "debate" evolution. See the recording here. I first heard about the Nye Ham event a few weeks ago, and was at first perturbed with Nye that he would enter into such an exchange.  I side more with Richard Dawkins... Continue Reading →

Ramidus Returns

Ardipithecus ramidus (Ardi) is back. In 2009, the skeleton discovered by Tim White’s team in the mid-90s was published in full. Dated to approximately 4.4 million years old based on volcanic stratigraphy, ramidus was found in the Middle Awash river valley in Ethiopia. The most complete individual, over 40% of a female skeleton, had the... Continue Reading →

A New Twist in the Neandertal Lineage

Just in from Atapuerca, northern Spain: mitochondrial DNA has been retrieved from the bones of Homo heidelbergensis. The Sima de los Huesos, or pit of bones, has been a treasure trove of human remains, and has yielded a minimum number of 28 individuals dating to at least 300,000 years ago. This type of preservation and... Continue Reading →

Are YOU a Neandertal?

In 2010 the draft genome for Neandertals was released by Svante Pääbo and colleagues. It was reported that European and Asian populations are between 1-4% Neandertal—but what percentage Neandertal are you? The company known as 23andMe recently released an analysis that claims to answer precisely this question. While personal genome sequencing has not yet hit... Continue Reading →

Microwear Analysis at Dmanisi

This month in the Journal of Human Evolution, a new study on the teeth of the Dmanisi Homo erectus has been published. A site in the Republic of Georgia, Dmanisi has yielded a vast quantity of hominin fossils dating to approximately 1.8 million years ago—even an elderly individual without teeth. The discovered crania are remarkably... Continue Reading →

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