Fossil of two human skulls was discovered from the Lingjing site in Eastern China. Zhan-Yang Li and his team found that those skulls are more than 100,000 years old and they have some similarities with both modern and Extinct human species.
Most of us are familiar with "Lucy," the famous hominid skeleton discovered by Donald Johanson and colleagues back in 1974 along a dried out gully in Ethiopia. Lucy lived over 3 million years ago and was assigned the name Australopithecus afarensis; a species many believe led to the rise of Homo sapiens. But a new discovery may rewrite our origins, for it seems Lucy was not the only type of Australopithecine roaming the African plains so long ago.
In an attempt to understand the social dynamics among our hunter-gatherer ancestors, anthropologists sometimes begin in the present and work backwards. And what the researchers at University College London have found adds another dimension to the unique social structure of hunter-gatherer society.
It was once believed that tool use was one of the signifying traits distinguishing humans from the rest of the animal world, but research has shown that is simply not the case. Chimps crack nuts, gorillas build rudimentary bridges, and dolphins use sponges to stir up the ocean floor, just to name a few. Scientists can now add macaques to the list, for it turns out they are quite handy with a hammer.
In the search for the origins of life, scientists have found a striking new link between lone cells and complex creatures like humans. The connection comes from observing life under the harsh conditions that exist near volcanoes more than a mile below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.
In a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers with the University of Potsdam in Germany say that they may have found the origin of man’s first steps on land with the rediscovery of a 17 million year old fossil of a beaked whale once native to East Africa. The fossil, which was original unearthed in 1964, but lost for nearly half a century after the skull was misplaced, is the oldest known fossil of a beaked whale and strongly suggests an exact time for when the East African plateau was once turned into a savannah.
Anthropologists now believe that some of the earliest human ancestors who lived 3.2 million years ago had hand structures much like our own and were able to grasp and use tools, even if they had not invented them yet.