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It took these monkeys just 13 years to learn how to crack nuts

Posted on 4 Sep 2017 in Animal Behaviour, Archaeology, Journalism

The macaques of southern Thailand have started a new tradition. For at least a century, they have used simple stone tools to smash open shellfish on the seashore. Now the monkeys have begun using stones to crack open oil palm nuts further inland. Image: mcoughlin

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Mummy autopsy reveals earliest known case of liver parasite

Posted on 25 Aug 2017 in Archaeology, Journalism

It might have been what the doctor ordered, but it didn’t do the patient much good. A 375-year-old mummified man discovered in South Korea had a parasitic liver infection caught by eating raw shellfish, which the man might have done on medical advice. Image: Pulmonary Pathology

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Who are you? How the story of human origins is being rewritten

Posted on 23 Aug 2017 in Evolution, Human Origins, Journalism

Over the past 15 years, almost every part of our story, every assumption about who our ancestors were and where we came from, has been called into question. The new insights have some unsettling implications for how long we have walked the earth, and even who we really are. Image: Ryan Somma

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Child tooth is fourth fossil clue to mysterious Denisovan humans

Posted on 7 Jul 2017 in Evolution, Human Origins, Journalism

Three becomes four. The extraordinarily sparse fossil record of the Denisovans – an ancient form of human – has gained one more specimen: a tiny, worn tooth belonging to a young girl. Image: Slon et al. Sci. Adv. 2017; 3: e1700186

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Our species may be 150,000 years older than we thought

Posted on 7 Jun 2017 in Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

Has our species been hiding its real age? Fossils found in Morocco suggest the Homo sapiens lineage became distinct as early as 350,000 years ago – adding as much as 150,000 years to our species’ history. Image: Philipp Gunz, MPI EVA Leipzig

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