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The first shoes

Addendum: The first version of this post suggested neanderthals wore shoes. This is not the case. Humans have more physical adaptations than we give them credit for. Although we often think of ourselves as reliant upon technology and rather pedestrian compared to the rest of

New hominin that could walk and climb

The human family tree is surprisingly bushy. Only a few thousand years ago we had Homo sapiens, H. neanderthalensis, H. floresiensis and the Denisovans all living side by side. And only a few million years before that we had several species of Australopithecus, Paranthropus and

Why we became bipedal

Oh bipedalism, where would we be without you? A lot closer to the ground, that’s for sure; and probably far from the civilisation we find ourselves in. After all, it was walking purely on our hind limbs that freed up our hands and enabled them

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Paranthropus: The gorrila man

Most people are aware that there was once more than one species of hominin. That our lineage had cousins who lived alongside us for most of our prehistory. However, few know the full extent our family tree branched out too. Our group separated from chimps

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New Chinese hominin species: Dating

When an evolutionary gaze was first cast upon humanity it was believed that we had evolved in Asia due to our many similarities with orang-utans. As such most early attempts to uncover our early ancestors focused on that region. It wasn’t until the 1960s that

A brief (pre)history of art

The facts of this post are currently disputed An appreciation of aesthetics seems to be an old trait in hominins. Ironically perhaps it seems to be older than the production of these aesthetics themselves. As early as Australopithecus it seems our ancestors had an appreciation

The evolution of monogomy, redux

For those of you who’ve been following this blog you should be able to recall that last week I wrote about a paper that purported to identify the development of monogamy in the human family tree. For those of you who haven’t been following I