Anatomy, Anthropology, Biology, Did you know?, News

Why in the world do we have chins? Maybe, because we evolved from being just brutes

Man with prominent chin and missing teeth. Etching by Wenceslas Hollar.

Ever wondered what chins are good for? Upon a quick reflection, you might think it actually has some practical value, supporting your jaw against the massive chewing forces. But that’s nonsense. It doesn’t do any of that, as a recent research concludes. In fact, the chin – the last facial feature to stop growing – actually makes the jaw less resistant to the bending stress of chewing as we age. Though still a mystery, scientists believe the chin is actually a side effect of the rest of the face having become smaller. Much smaller than that of early ancestors or cousin Neanderthals, at least.

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Handy women: females are better than male at DIYs – at least in chimps

Image via Daily Mail.

In most cultures, men are typically regarded as handy and it’s usually up to them to do the handy work – it’s quite a stereotype actually, but I think it’s among the few that really stick; but a new study reveals that women may actually be much more well suited for that job. Female chips were observed building and using

Anthropology, Archaeology, Feature Post

Mankind and its Relatives – Modern Homo Species

Places where Neanderthal fossils were found - most of them inhabited Europe. Image via Wiki Commons.

Homo is the genus of hominids that includes modern humans, as well as other species closely related to them… I mean us. The genus is estimated to be about 2.3 to 2.4 million years old and it features several species (though it’s still not clear how many). Here are the modern (<0.6 million years) Homo species described through fossils; however, it

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Neanderthal jewelry was much more sophisticated than previously believed

Cuts and notches on the talons (shown above) suggest they were strung on sinew as a bracelet or necklace.

Recent archaeological and anthropological research showed that Neanderthals weren’t the mindless brutes we once thought they were – they were smart, organized, they had their own speech and interbred with early humans. Now, a new study has found evidence that 130,000 years ago, Neanderthals also designed elaborate jewelry, a degree of sophistication never seen before for that time.

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Livestock teeth show ancient farmers avoided dangerous flies

The tsetse fly. Image via Ethiopian Opinion.

A study conducted on 2000 year old tooth enamel found that ancient farmers traveled to the grassy plains southern Africa to develop herding away from the dangerous tsetse fly.

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Earliest specimen from the human family discovered in Ethiopia

homo habilis ancestor

A broken jaw unearthed in Ethiopia pushes back the origin of the homo linage – of which homo sapiens sapiens are the only surviving members – by 400,000 years. The finding might prove important in explaining how our ancestors diverged from more apelike relatives, like Australopithecus, to big brained beings, filling a blank spot two to tree millions years ago

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

22,000 year old skull fragment may represent extinct lineage of modern humans

skull-scan

A partial skull fragment found in Kenya seems to indicate that early humans were much more diverse than previously thought. The 22,000-year-old skull clearly belongs to a human species, but is unlike anything else previously discovered.

Anthropology, News

Neanderthals and humans interbred in the Middle East over 50,000 years ago

Image via NBC.

An ancient skull found in Israel indicates that early Homo sapiens likely interbred with Neanderthals 50,000 years ago. The female skull is the first skeletal evidence to support the idea that Neandertals and moderns mated. The finding is published in the journal Nature. The Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) are closely related to modern humans, differing in DNA by only 0.12%. Genetic evidence published in 2014 suggests

Anthropology, Geology, News

Ancient Sea Rise Tale Told Accurately For 10,000 Years – Study Confirms

Image via Travel Community.

Aboriginals around what is today Melbourne have been telling a story for thousands of generations – a tale of waters rising after the ice age. Without using written languages, they passed it down orally, generation to generation, with surprising accuracy. Now, a new study concluded that the story is actually really accurate, despite being passed on for 10,000 years. “It’s

Anthropology, News

Early human ancestors used their hands much in the way as we do

human hands ancestor

After analyzing key hand bone fragments from fossil records, a team of anthropologists conclude that pre-homo human ancestral species, such as Australopithecus africanus, used a hand posture very similar to that of modern humans. Considering fossil tools used for scrubbing off meat as old as 3.3 million years have been found, it may just be that our early ancestors weren’t all that different from good ol’ superior homo sapiens sapiens. Well, as far as hands go at least.