Solving the mysteries of short-legged Neandertals
The hominin known as Australopithecus afarensis (aka Lucy) :) was the first of our family to be able to routinely stand and walk on two legs.
One million-year-old settlement uncovered in Britain Archaeologists believe they have found the birthplace of British civilisation, and it is underneath a £15-a-night caravan park in Norfolk, England. Discoveries at the site include one million-year-old artefacts and fossilised animal remains, which are the oldest ever found in the UK.
DNA in calcified bacteria on teeth of ancient humans has shed light on the health consequences of the evolving diet and behaviour from the Stone Age to now. The composition of oral bacteria changed markedly with the intro of farming, and again 150 years ago. The introduction of processed sugar and flour in the Industrial Revolution dramatically decreased diversity in our oral bacteria, allowing domination by caries-causing strains. The modern mouth basically exists in a permanent disease state.
Australia is thought to have remained isolated between its initial colonisation 40,000ya and the arrival of Europeans in the late 1800s. A study now finds evidence of substantial gene flow between Indian populations and Australia 4,000ya. Researchers also found a common origin for Australian, New Guinean and the Philippine Mamanwa populations. These populations followed an early southern migration route out of Africa, while other populations settled in the region only at a later date.
Apes, which include gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans, are the closest living relatives of humanity. They once inhabited most of the Old World, including large portions of Europe and Asia, and a much larger swath of Africa than they do at present. A critical time in the evolution of humans and their ape relatives was the late Miocene Epoch about 5 million to 11 million years ago. Near the end of the Miocene, apes had become extinct in most of Eurasia. Read more: ow.ly/oNkOb