Not so fast, Homo habilis. The australopithecine currently viewed as one of the earliest human ancestors may have just been pushed to the evolutionary backseat. A new analysis of another australopithecine, Australopithecus sediba, has revealed that sediba is not only the most human-like australopithecine found to date, but that it’s so similar it might just be the ancestor from which early humans evolved.
A prehistoric mobile toolkit buried in milky creek sediments in central Texas shows humans first settled North America 2,500 years earlier than previously thought. The finding could shatter the prevailing theory of paleo-American settlement, which holds that people left northeast Asia via a land bridge through the Bering Strait and settled the continent 13,000 years ago.
Scientists have sequenced the genome of an ancient human for the first time. An international team extracted DNA from 4,000-year-old hair found in Greenland's permafrost. They were able to sequence an impressive 79 percent of the genetic material and shared a thing or two about this ancient Homo sapiens in this week's issue of the journal Nature.
Scientists determine that the need to carry babies wasn't a driving factor as early humans started walking tall
By Gregory MonePosted 04.24.2008 at 8:13 am 8 Comments
Scientists have long been trying to figure out why early humans became bipedal, and one popular explanation has now been crossed off the list of possibilities. There was a popular notion that we started walking upright to free up our arms so we could carry objects, and babies—apes don't need to worry about this because their offspring can cling to them using their hands and feet. It's like a built-in Baby Bjorn.
But now University of Manchester researchers say the baby-carrying theory doesn't hold, mainly because supporting an infant on your hip or in your arms is too tiring to have been a legitimate factor in the transition to bipedalism.