Our earliest evolutionary ancestor may have been found in the form of microscopic sponge-like organisms recently discovered inside extremely ancient African rocks. If that turns out to be so, it would displace animal life’s previous earliest known ancestor (unremarkably, another sponge-like “metazoan”) by predating it by perhaps 100 million years.
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.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.