Recent Posts

Ankarapithecus :: overview

less than 1 minute read

Ankarapithecus meteai remains include a handful of mandibles and partial faces from Central Turkey, and date to around 10 million years ago (Begun and Gulic,...

Aegyptopithecus :: overview

1 minute read

The largest sample of early catarrhines come from the Fayum depression in present-day Egypt. Today this region is arid desert, but during the Oligocene arou...

The Great Rift Valley

3 minute read

The climate of the Early Pliocene differed from that of the Miocene primarily by the appearance of a cooling and drying trend across Africa, where early hom...


1 minute read

Sivapithecus includes a great diversity of Miocene ape species from South Asia. Fossils are known from between 10 and 7 million years ago, with many fossils ...


less than 1 minute read

Ouranopithecus macedoniensis (called by some Graecopithecus) is from the Late Miocene of Greece, around 8 million years old. Based on its facial and dental a...

Fossil apes

4 minute read

The hominoids--the group including humans and living and fossil apes--originated sometime during the Oligocene period, between 34 and 24 million years ago. ...


2 minute read

Today, the only non-human primate native to Europe is the Barbary macaque, which has extended its North African range to a small area including Gibraltar, o...

The Neandertal mtDNA story: 2004 edition

7 minute read

Note: I wrote this post in 2005. We have learned vastly more about Neandertal genetics since then. These two papers are important to the history of discoveri...

The science of Helicobacter pylori

10 minute read

There is an article in the February 2005 Scientific American with the intriguing title “An endangered species in the stomach.” The article fairly well covers...

The Liang Bua debate, continued

8 minute read

Note: I wrote this post in 2005. We have learned much since then about the context of the Liang Bua fossils and archaeological record. These have changed the...

Two recent bottleneck studies

10 minute read

Note: I wrote this post in 2005. We know much more today about the population history of modern humans. This includes the bottleneck that led to the founding...

Sahelanthropus: a brief introduction

3 minute read

Note: I wrote this post in 2005. Later posts detail my own research on Sahelanthropus. My research with collaborators ultimately took a critical perspective ...

Modern human origins: X marks the spot?

3 minute read

Reference: Garrigan, Daniel, et al. 2005. Evidence for archaic Asian ancestry on the human X chromosome. Molecular Biology and Evolution 22(2):189-192.