November 23, 2002 |
Of all the things that distinguish humans and other primates -- thumbs, the ability to leap and forward-facing eyes -- it was the ability to grasp that evolved first, researchers reported in this week's issue of Science. A 56-million-year-old skeleton found in Wyoming shows that one of the earliest primate ancestors had an opposable big toe, allowing it to creep to the outermost branches of trees for nuts and fruit. It also probably kept a sharp eye out to avoid becoming someone else's meal.
October 12, 2002 |
Is it the skull of an ancient ancestor of modern humans, or does it belong to an ape that lived 7 million years ago? That depends on whom you ask. The skull unearthed in the desert of Chad was hailed as arguably the most important discovery in living memory when it was revealed and made world headlines in July.
May 12, 2000 |
Two fossil skulls found beneath a medieval castle in the former Soviet republic of Georgia may be the remains of the first human species to journey out of Africa, an international research team said Thursday. Reliably dated to 1.7 million years ago, the bones offer the earliest known anatomical evidence of the direct link between humanity's ancestral birthplace in Africa and the primitive human forebears who colonized much of the rest of the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 2000
Humans began camping on the shore and eating seafood at least 125,000 years ago, about 10,000 years earlier than previously believed, according to an international team of archeologists. The team reports in today's Nature that they found Paleolithic hand axes and obsidian flakes and blades on a fossil reef terrace on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea. The reef terrace is about six miles long and 18 to 42 feet below sea level.
March 3, 2000 |
Archeologists have discovered the oldest stone axes ever found in Asia, 800,000-year-old implements that hint at the minds that painstakingly shaped them at the dawn of humanity. The findings provide provocative evidence of the beginnings of cultural diversity, which, like toolmaking itself, is today the hallmark of humankind. The discovery is also certain to force many researchers to reconsider the pace of human development in Asia, which until now has been considered an evolutionary backwater.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 29, 1999 |
Splayed between layers of limestone like a blossom pressed flat in the book of time, the fossilized remains of archaeopteryx--the best-known primitive ancestor of modern birds--are a question cast in stone. The fossils reveal a primordial changeling--a feathered, lizard-like creature the size of a crow that combines distinctly avian wings with a reptilian tail and knitting-needle teeth.