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

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The origin of complex cooking

Today’s question comes from a Stuart Worley, submitted via the feedback form. Could you point me to (or discuss yourself) an explanation of how complex (TBD) cooking techniques “evolved”? In short, how did we get from eating single substances to, “gee, I think I’ll put

The evolution of monogamy

Humans have a rather bizarre relationships structure in which multiple, monogamous families live together. Whilst there may well be an “alpha” male he does not monopolise the females, instead allowing his subordinates to live within and mate with those in his group. This strategy is