Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsEarly Humans
IN THE NEWS

Early Humans

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
April 20, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II / For the Booster Shots blog
If early humans had been vegans we might all still be living in caves, Swedish researchers suggested in an article Thursday. When a mother eats meat, her breast-fed child's brain grows faster and she is able to wean the child at an earlier age, allowing her to have more children faster, the article explains. That provided a distinct competitive advantage for early humans when limited resources and a small population made it difficult for them to thrive. "Eating meat enabled the breast-feeding periods and thereby the time between births to be shortened," said psychologist Elia Psouni of Lund University in Sweden.
ARTICLES BY DATE
SCIENCE
December 6, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Peering far deeper than ever before into humanity's murky genetic past, scientists sequenced the DNA of an ancient European relative and found a puzzling connection to the Far East. The genetic sample came from a 400,000-year-old thigh bone pulled from the cold, damp depths of a Spanish cave called Sima de los Huesos, or “Pit of Bones.” Researchers surmised that it belonged to an extinct species of hominin known as Homo heidelbergensis, a direct ancestor of Neanderthals, and they expected it to resemble DNA extracted from of a handful of Neanderthal bones found in Spain, Croatia and other sites in Europe.
Advertisement
SCIENCE
May 14, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A 40,000-year-old figurine of a voluptuous woman carved from mammoth ivory and excavated from a cave in southwestern Germany is the oldest known example of three-dimensional or figurative representation of humans and sheds new light on the origins of art, researchers reported Wednesday. The intricately carved headless figure is at least 5,000 years older than previous examples and dates from shortly after the arrival of modern humans in Europe.
SCIENCE
June 18, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
The development of art, culture, and advanced cognitive ability that define modern humans may not have evolved until 50,000 years ago, according to a new study published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Richard Klein of Stanford University, the senior author of the study , believes that modern humans evolved at the same time that they left Africa to populate Eurasia and the rest of the world. According to his theory, the cultural innovations led to an increase in fitness for the fledgling human species, spurring a major population expansion.
SCIENCE
May 31, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Humans may have made their first journey out of Africa as recently as 70,000 years ago, according to a Stanford University study of variability in DNA. And the population of these early humans who gave rise to the modern human race was probably no larger than about 2,000, the researchers reported in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
NEWS
January 8, 1999 | ROBERT LEE HOTZ, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
For a century, experts have puzzled over what wiped out dozens of the strangest species ever to walk the Earth--from carnivorous kangaroos, giant lizards and horned tortoises the size of automobiles to burly ground sloths and shovel-nosed mammoths--at the dawn of modern time. Now University of Colorado scientists studying ancient eggshell remnants in Australia think they have discovered the answer: people careless with fire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 1997 | From Times staff and wire reports
German scientists reported Wednesday that they had found perfectly preserved 400,000-year-old wooden spears, strong evidence that early humans were more sophisticated hunters than anyone thought. The spears, the oldest wooden hunting weapons ever found, add to data indicating that our now-extinct ancestors were not primitive cavemen but rather had an advanced culture. Reporting in the Feb.
SCIENCE
October 20, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Small stone blades and a reddish body pigment recently discovered in a cave near the southern tip of South Africa suggest that the use of symbolism and tools -- hallmarks of modern human behavior -- had already begun to develop 164,000 years ago, far earlier than previously believed, researchers report. Arizona researchers also found in the cave the earliest evidence of seafood consumption.
NEWS
January 31, 1999 | MINERVA CANTO, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Early humans became better hunters after they domesticated wolves about 135,000 years ago, an advantage that possibly helped them outlive Neanderthals and other rivals, according to a Caltech researcher. The wolf's strength, stamina and acute hearing and sense of smell probably helped humans to hunt prey and overcome predators, especially at night, said John Allman, who specializes in evolutionary biology.
SCIENCE
January 13, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Carved tools and ornaments from Russia paint a rare picture of the time about 45,000 years ago when modern humans migrated out of Africa to colonize Europe, researchers reported Friday in the journal Science. "The big surprise here is the very early presence of modern humans in one of the coldest, driest places in Europe," said lead author John Hoffecker of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Russia "is one of the last places we would have expected people from Africa to occupy first."
SCIENCE
November 7, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
A collection of 70,000-year-old sharp stone blades found in a South African cave suggests that humans were adept at producing advanced tools at that time and successfully passed down the technology from generation to generation, according to a report in Wednesday's edition of the journal Nature. The blades, called microliths, are small - about 3 centimeters long - and were likely used as the points of early weapons. The evidence has generally been incomplete as to when and for how long early humans possessed the skills to produce and use tools like the microliths described in the study.
SCIENCE
October 23, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Here's something for raw-food aficionados to chew on: Cooked food might be a big reason humans were able to grow such large brains compared to their body size, scientists say. If modern human ancestors had eaten only raw food, they'd have to regularly feed more than nine hours a day, according to a study published online Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A pair of researchers from the Instituto Nacional de Neurociéncia Translacional in São Paulo, Brazil, decided to try and help explain why modern humans' brains were able to grow so large compared to their body size and why other primates' brains did not. They looked at the relative brain-to-neuron-counts of a host of primates, from owl monkeys to baboons.
SCIENCE
June 14, 2012 | Eryn Brown
Researchers have assembled the complete genome of the bonobo, an African ape that is one of humans' closest relatives. The achievement, reported Wednesday in the journal Nature, marks a milestone. Adding the bonobo genome to the already-sequenced human, chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan genomes gives scientists a complete catalog of the DNA of all of the so-called great apes. That should help researchers better understand how humans evolved, scientists said. "There's a common ancestor that we and these apes were derived from.
NEWS
April 21, 2012 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
The vegan lifestyle isn't mainstream yet, but it's surely on its way thanks to the whole food movement inspired by the likes of "Forks Over Knives" and "Food Inc. " Trendy vegan cookbooks, blogs and personalities continue to multiply as we all get " vegucated ," as do the vegan options served at restaurants. I don't remember the last time I was in a restaurant that didn't serve kale or some sort of braised greens. Then again, this is L.A. But is pushing veganism onto children taking things too far?
NEWS
April 20, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II / For the Booster Shots blog
If early humans had been vegans we might all still be living in caves, Swedish researchers suggested in an article Thursday. When a mother eats meat, her breast-fed child's brain grows faster and she is able to wean the child at an earlier age, allowing her to have more children faster, the article explains. That provided a distinct competitive advantage for early humans when limited resources and a small population made it difficult for them to thrive. "Eating meat enabled the breast-feeding periods and thereby the time between births to be shortened," said psychologist Elia Psouni of Lund University in Sweden.
SCIENCE
April 3, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Flame-bearing Prometheus may have visited humans earlier than we thought. An analysis of charred bones and plant ash in sediment from a South African cave suggests that Homo erectus was wielding fire a million years ago — and perhaps even cooking with it, according to a study released Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings present the earliest clear evidence of such use of fire, experts said. The ability to control fire marks an evolutionary turning point: It would have kept our ancient relatives warm in unforgiving climes and allowed them to cook their food, releasing trapped nutrients and getting more caloric bang per bite.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 1988
An archeologist working for the U.S. Geological Survey has discovered a wealth of evidence under the Sahara Desert to show that early humans lived in the area 150,000 to 300,000 years ago. A few test pits already have turned up hundreds of stone tools lying on ancient land surfaces now blanketed by the sand of a desert that has been spreading for thousands of years. William P.
NEWS
November 18, 1995 | KENNETH CHANG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A fragment of a jaw and three teeth found in a cave in southwest China suggest that early humans arrived in mainland Asia more than half a million years earlier than thought, scientists reported. In the current issue of the journal Nature, the team of international researchers said three dating techniques put the age of the fossils at 1.8 million to 2 million years old.
SCIENCE
May 14, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A 40,000-year-old figurine of a voluptuous woman carved from mammoth ivory and excavated from a cave in southwestern Germany is the oldest known example of three-dimensional or figurative representation of humans and sheds new light on the origins of art, researchers reported Wednesday. The intricately carved headless figure is at least 5,000 years older than previous examples and dates from shortly after the arrival of modern humans in Europe.
SCIENCE
October 20, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Small stone blades and a reddish body pigment recently discovered in a cave near the southern tip of South Africa suggest that the use of symbolism and tools -- hallmarks of modern human behavior -- had already begun to develop 164,000 years ago, far earlier than previously believed, researchers report. Arizona researchers also found in the cave the earliest evidence of seafood consumption.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|