In a study published Oct. 20 in Science, paleontologists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and Uppsala University in Sweden reported a second Silurian maxillate placoderm, Qilinyu rostrate, which bridges the gnathal and maxillate conditions. Researchers proposed that the maxilla, premaxilla, and dentary are homologous to the gnathal plates of placoderms and that all belong to the same dental arcade, and the gnathal-maxillate transformation occurred concurrently in upper and lower jaws, predating the addition of infradentary bones to the lower jaw.
By examining striations on teeth of a Homo habilis fossil, a new discovery led by a University of Kansas researcher has found the earliest evidence for right-handedness in the fossil record dating back 1.8 million years.
Archaeologists from the University of York have conducted pioneering analysis on historic ivory, revealing where East African elephants roamed and where they were hunted in the 19th century.
Archaeologists at The Australian National University and Monash University are conducting a trial of new technology to build a 3-D virtual-reality map of one of Asia's most mysterious sites -- the Plain of Jars in Laos.
In a paper, published in Nature, the research team says this finding is significant because archaeologists had always understood that the production of multiple stone flakes with characteristics such as conchoidal fractures and sharp cutting edges was a behaviour unique to hominins. The paper suggests that scholars may have to refine their criteria for identifying intentionally produced early stone flakes made by hominins, given capuchins have been observed unintentionally making similar tools.
A resilient dietary strategy balancing reliable wetland plants and 'riskier' seasonal grasses may have driven adoption of the sedentary lifestyle which later became typical of Neolithic humans, according to a study published Oct. 19, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Monica Ramsey from the University of Toronto, Canada, and colleagues.
Humans living in South Africa in the Middle Stone Age may have used advanced heating techniques to produce silcrete blades, according to a study published Oct. 19, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Anne Delagnes from the CNRS (PACEA - University of Bordeaux, France) and colleagues.
A new study from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, used uranium series dating and X-ray fluorescence to date and source an ancient coral reef capital in the Pacific Ocean and determine it was the earliest of the islands ruled by a single chief. The discovery will yield new keys to how societies emerge and evolve, and how they transform from simple societies to more complex ones, said study leader and SMU archaeologist Mark McCoy.
Neanderthals. Denisovans. Homo sapiens. Around 50,000 years ago, these hominids not only interbred, but in some cases, modern humans may have also received a special evolutionary advantage from doing so. In a new study published in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, computational biologists Fernando Racimo, Davide Marnetto and Emilia Huerta-Sánchez have developed statistical tools and simulations to successfully identify the signatures of these interbred genomic regions.
Ancient DNA research has revealed that Ice Age cave artists recorded a previously unknown hybrid species of bison and cattle in great detail on cave walls more than 15,000 years ago.