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Bare bones: Five human ancestors known only from a few fossils

Posted on 27 Sep 2017 in Human Origins, Journalism

Some of our ancestors are known only by the merest fossils – a toe bone here, a jaw fragment there. In those cases, it’s all we have to build the story of human evolution. But with spectacular recent finds such as Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi, that story is starting to be rewritten in ways we never imagined. Image: James St. John

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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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Ancient bee fossil reveals secrets of human ancestor’s habitat

Posted on 28 Sep 2016 in Human Origins, Journalism, Palaeontology

The skull of an ape-like Australopithecus found in 1924 and nicknamed the Taung Child revolutionised our view of human origins. It suggested humans evolved in Africa, not Eurasia as previously thought. No other hominin fossils have been found at the site since. But now a fossilised bee’s nest provides an insight into the local habitat in which that early human lived almost 3 million years ago – and hints that more fossils could be waiting to be discovered. Image: scead

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Frodo’s basement: Secret chamber found where hobbit humans lived

Posted on 29 Oct 2015 in Archaeology, Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

The diminutive human hobbits of Flores had a basement. And early signs hint at the tantalising possibility of more Homo floresiensis bones in this newly discovered chamber. Image: Bryn Pinzgauer

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New species of extinct human found in cave may rewrite history

Posted on 10 Sep 2015 in Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

For a century, palaeoanthropologists have generally learned to make do with slim pickings – part of a face here, a jawbone fragment there. Now, from the depths of a cave in South Africa, has come a monster cache of hominin bones from a previously unknown early species of our own genus, Homo. Image: John Hawks/Wits University

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