December 14, 2002 |
Natives of India's Andaman Islands, once famed for their ferocity and unique appearance, are genetically separate from their neighbors and may be descendants of Stone Age settlers, researchers said. Analysis of DNA from samples taken in recent times and 100 years ago show the Andaman Islanders, which include a group known as the Jarawa, are genetically different from other South Asians. The islanders, who are on the verge of extinction, have a distinct language and culture.
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.
July 12, 2001 |
Remains of what may be humanity's earliest direct ancestor, a chimp-sized creature that walked the cool, wooded highlands of East Africa more than 5 million years ago, have been discovered in Ethiopia, an international team of researchers announced Wednesday. "This is the first evidence that we have for the existence of hominids between 5.2 million and 5.8 million years ago," said Yohannes Haile-Selassie, an Ethiopian graduate student at UC Berkeley who discovered the fossils.
June 11, 2001 |
A 260-million-year-old mammal-like reptile, the first that could chew and digest thick vegetation, spurred the evolution of modern-day land ecosystems, Canadian researchers reported in Thursday's Nature. Suminia getmanovi, a small creature similar to a monkey or rodent that preceded dinosaurs by about 50 million years, was a champion chewer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 7, 2000
The "Out of Africa" theory that modern man evolved there and spread across the world got a boost today with new research tracing humans from diverse ethnic and geographical backgrounds back to the African continent. Swedish scientists used mitochondrial DNA--genetic material within cells that is passed unchanged from mother to child--from 53 people to show that the human evolutionary tree is firmly rooted in Africa.