A thousand-year-old tooth has provided the first clear genetic evidence that the Taíno -- the indigenous people whom Columbus first encountered on arriving in the New World -- still have living descendants today, despite erroneous claims in some historical narratives that these people are extinct. The findings are likely to have particular resonance for people in the Caribbean and the US who claim Taíno ancestry, but have until now been unable to prove definitively that such a thing is possible.
It turns out that nobody knows when rabbits were domesticated. Despite a well-cited story of the domestic bunny's origins, a review published on Feb. 14 in Trends in Ecology and Evolution finds that historical and archaeological records and genetic methods all suggest different timeframes for its domestication. But the researchers involved in the study don't think this puzzle is a dead end. Instead, they believe it's an indication that domestication happens on a continuum.
The evolution of human biology should be considered part and parcel with the evolution of humanity itself, proposes Nicole Creanza, assistant professor of biological sciences. She is the guest editor of a new themed issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that takes an interdisciplinary approach to human evolution.
At a remarkable site in northwest Saudi Arabia, a CNRS archaeologist and colleagues from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage have discovered camelid sculptures unlike any others in the region. They are thought to date back to the first centuries BC or AD. The find sheds new light on the evolution of rock art in the Arabian Peninsula.
A fossilized trackway on public lands in Lake County, Ore., may reveal clues about the ancient family dynamics of Columbian mammoths. Researchers who excavated a portion of the path found 117 footprints thought to represent a number of adults as well as juvenile and infant mammoths.
Visual imagery used in drawing regulates arm movements in manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc of a spear.
New multi-scale relief modelling algorithm helps archaeologists rediscover topographical features of the past.
A study, presenting a 5000-year environmental history of the popular tourist destination, Amboseli National Park in Kenya, has shown that the impact of climate change on land is more rapid than previously thought.
The fossil, called Candelarhynchus padillai, is approximately 90 million years old, and has no modern relatives, explained Oksana Vernygora, PhD student in the Department of Biological Sciences and lead author on the study.
The Toba supereruption on the island of Sumatra about 74,000 years ago did not cause a six-year-long 'volcanic winter' in East Africa and thereby cause the human population in the region to plummet, according to new research based on an analysis of ancient plant remains from lake cores. The new findings disagree with the Toba catastrophe hypothesis, which says the eruption and its aftermath caused drastic, multi-year cooling and severe ecological disruption in East Africa.