Human Evolution

Artificial jellyfish engineered out of rat heart muscles

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 22, 2012   View Article

Scientists have made an artificial jellyfish out of rat heart muscles and rubbery silicon. When given an electric shock, it swims just like the real thing.

Future versions should be able to swim and feed by themselves.

“That then allows us to extend their lifetime,” John Dabiri, a professor of aeronautics and bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology, told me.

“Hobbits” Not Good Runners; Proof of New Human Species?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 8, 2009   View Article

Ancient “hobbit” feet contain clues that the diminutive fossil creatures, found on the Indonesian island of Flores, had a very different style of walking than that of modern humans, according to a new analysis.

“In several ways, their feet are what we call in the business ‘primitive,'” said study co-author William Harcourt-Smith, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

The finding, he added, is further evidence that the 18,000-year-old fossils represent a unique species, Homo floresiensis.

Oldest Human Footprints With Modern Anatomy Found

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 26, 2009   View Article

About 1.5 million years ago, human ancestors walked upright with a spring in their steps just as modern humans do today, suggests an analysis of ancient footprints found in northern Kenya.

The prints are the oldest known to show modern foot anatomy.

The discovery also helps round out the picture of a cooling and drying episode in Africa that compelled tree-dwelling human ancestors to venture into the open landscape for food, said John Harris, a paleoanthropologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Ten fossils that evolved the tale of our origins

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: October 16, 2008   View Article

Where did we come from? Many truth seekers turn to faith and religion and therein find their answers. Others approach the question through a scientific lens and the theory of evolution. They have pieced together a tale of human origins from the fossils of our ancestors. The tale is incomplete and its telling reshaped with fresh interpretation of the growing fossil record.

Neanderthals Ate Dolphins, Seals, Cave Remains Suggest

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 22, 2008   View Article

Neanderthals living in a pair of caves on the Mediterranean Sea regularly feasted on mussels, fish, and other types of marine life, according to a new study.

The finding suggests that Neanderthals actively foraged for seafood just like early modern humans, according to Clive Finlayson, an anthropologist at the Gibraltar Museum.

Big Brains Arose Separately in Multiple Primate Groups

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 18, 2008   View Article

The ancestors of modern-day primates in the Americas had tiny brains just like their counterparts in Africa and Eurasia, according to a new study.

Because modern anthropoid, or humanlike, primates in both regions have large brains relative to their body sizes, the finding suggests that one of the hallmarks of primate biology—increasing brain size—happened independently in isolated groups.

Ancient Bones of Small Humans Discovered in Palau

Publication: National Geographic Magazine   Date: March 10, 2008   View Article

Thousands of human bones belonging to numerous individuals have been discovered in the Pacific island nation of Palau.

Some of the bones are ancient and indicate inhabitants of particularly small size, scientists announced today.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach