Discovery of Homo naledi demonstrates need to revise the Homo genus

2015 has been a very exciting year for Paleoanthropology. No doubt the pinnacle was the discovery of a brand-new hominin species Homo naledi, a bombastic revelation met with great and appropriate fanfare in the popular press. But H. naledi is not the only revision that is afoot in our understanding of the way that the … More Discovery of Homo naledi demonstrates need to revise the Homo genus

A conversation with Ian Tattersall about his new book: The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack and Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolutiong

I sat down with Professor Ian Tattersall to discuss his twenty-first (!) book, The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack and Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution, released earlier this month from St. Martin’s Press and Palgrave MacMillan. This fast-paced and often funny book shines the harsh light of hindsight onto the foundations of the … More A conversation with Ian Tattersall about his new book: The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack and Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolutiong

Did Neanderthals Have Gender Roles in their Division of Labor?

It is not uncommon among social mammals to engage in division of labor between the sexes. Female lions do all of the hunting; males loaf around and occasionally fight other males. Chimpanzees have a strictly male-dominated social hierarchy, while bonobos employ a matriarchal structure in which dominance is enforced by females. These sex roles can … More Did Neanderthals Have Gender Roles in their Division of Labor?

Did Neanderthals Speak?

Humans like to think of ourselves as the only animal that speaks to each other using language. It’s one of the things that “separates us from the animals,” so the saying goes. However, we already know that lots of other animals communicate with each other using vocal-auditory communication. Further, we’re beginning to learn that other … More Did Neanderthals Speak?

The moral codes of other human species

The complex sets of drives and calculations that we call morality rise from our basic human instincts toward reciprocity, fairness, and empathy. These instincts are called prosocial because they promote cohesion and harmony in the social context of herds, packs, and families.¬†However, humans are not alone in having prosocial instincts. Many, indeed MOST, mammals show¬†prosocial … More The moral codes of other human species

Modern Humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe for thousands of years

Summary Using enhanced dating techniques, a new study found that Neanderthals and Modern Humans co-existed in Europe for thousands of years, much longer than previously thought This opens up new questions about how Neanderthals and Modern Humans interacted with each other. Neanderthals may have had more influence on modern humans than previously thought, including trade, … More Modern Humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe for thousands of years