The social brain hypothesis suggests that our brains, specifically our neocortex, grew larger because it allowed us to remember more relationships and thus live in larger groups which gave us an evolutionary advantage. The evidence for this is rather strong, allowing us to put one
By all accounts Homo neanderthalensis should’ve driven Homo sapiens extinct. They had larger brains, stronger muscles and thicker bones. Yet we are the only species of Homo alive in the world today, creating one of the most puzzling aspects of recent human evolution. How did
It’s Europe, 30,000 years ago. In a cave in France, a tribe of Homo sapiens have gathered around a fire for the evening. By the harsh yellow glow they repair and rework their tools, ready for another hard day’s hunting. One sets down his stone
It’s Europe, 48,000 years ago and things are not going well for Homo neanderthalensis. A deteriorating climate in Central Europe forced both them and the newly arrived Homo sapiens to abandon almost the entire continent. They retreated in Spain whilst we returned to the Middle
One of the biggest mysteries regarding human origins is why our brains became so big (or “encephalised” in fancy shmamcy science language). Over the past ~2.5 million years our thinking organ has gradually tripled in size, but what was the advantage such growth conferred that
Recently I examined an article that suggested we may sexually imprint on our parents and seek out mates similar to them (or at least I like to think I examined it and didn’t just waffle for 700 words). Amidst all the talk of “population homogeneity”
I recently spied an article in my Google Scholar alert feed that had a rather interesting abstract. This study investigates spousal correlation and mate preference for height in the Japanese population…It also indicates a possible role of a sexual imprinting-like mechanism in human mate choice.
2009: Science and the media collide in the most horrific way imaginable; with Darwinius masillae, a beautifully preserved prehistoric primate being trumped up as the answer to human origins and generally claimed to be the best thing since sliced bread. It is not and the