All posts tagged with Neandertals

Neandertal ancestors of African populations

5 minute read

Earlier this year, Lu Chen and coworkers from Joshua Akey’s research group published an assessment of the amount of Neandertal ancestry in the genomes of pre...

The bison bone bed at Gran Dolina

4 minute read

In an earlier post, I looked at work by Mark White, Paul Pettitt, and Danielle Schreve, which considered evidence for Neandertal prey selectivity at five sit...

Neandertal slaughters

6 minute read

Back in 2016, Mark White, Paul Pettitt and Danielle Schreve published an interesting analysis in which they compared how Neandertals hunted and butchered ani...

Link: A visit to La Grotte de Cotencher

1 minute read

The SwissInfo news site has a nice article about a Neandertal site in Switzerland: “Meet a Neanderthal woman from one of Europe’s oldest cave sites”.

Link: Looking at the Misliya Cave maxilla

1 minute read

Bruce Bower last week had a nice article about the new Misliya Cave dating in Science News: “An ancient jaw pushes humans’ African departure back in time”.

Everything Neandertal is not bad

6 minute read

This is not a bad story about Neandertals by Melissa Hogenboom: “What Neanderthals’ healthy teeth tell us about their minds”. It’s an overview of what scient...

Photo: An early Neandertal life rendering

less than 1 minute read

One of the earliest artist renderings of a Neanderthal (1887), published in a magazine called The Open Court, which was dedicated to the dialogue between rel...

Neandertal stone circles at Bruniquel Cave

9 minute read

I want to reflect for a moment on the first passage in the recent paper by Jacques Jaubert and colleagues (2016). The paper describes a series of circular st...

Neandertal sex acts are beyond counting

9 minute read

I’ve given a lot of thought over the years to the genetic ties between today’s people and ancient populations. Just last month, I wrote a lot about the relat...

Returning to the pollen of Shanidar

3 minute read

Marta Fiacconi and Chris Hunt have undertaken an analysis of pollen samples from the surface of the sediments of Shanidar Cave, Iraq.

Link: Graeme Barker on work at Shanidar

less than 1 minute read

Nature’s Ewen Callaway interviewed Cambridge archaeologist Graeme Barker about his recent resumption of fieldwork at Shanidar, Iraq: “Archaeologists ousted b...

Photo: Neandertal engraving in Gorham’s Cave

less than 1 minute read

From my trip to Gibraltar last week for the 2015 Calpe Conference, a photo from deep within Gorham’s Cave of the famous engraving from Mousterian layers attr...

Link: Extinction of other human species

less than 1 minute read

Melissa Hogenboom of BBC Earth asks, “Why are we the only human species still alive?” The article features Jean-Jacques Hublin, John Shea and Nicholas Conard...

High recent admixture reported for Oase 1

1 minute read

Some readers have asked me what I think of the reporting from the recent Biology of Genomes conference, that Qiaomei Fu and colleagues from Svante Pääbo’s gr...

Neandertals inside and outside humanity

1 minute read

The historian of science Lydia Pyne has published a couple of recent articles that detail interesting aspects of the history human evolution. The first is ab...

Notable: Neandertal rock dove hunting

less than 1 minute read

Notable paper: Blasco, R., Finlayson, C., Rosell, J., Marco, A.S., Finlayson, S., Finlayson, G., Negro, J.J., Pacheco, F. G., Vidal, J. R. (2014) The earlies...

A Neanderthal memoir

2 minute read

Carl Zimmer reviews Svante Paabo’s new book, Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes, in the New York Times: “Missing Links”. Zimmer gives a balanced revi...

Popularity of hominin species names

2 minute read

I was curious about the use of Homo ergaster over time. It seems to me that fewer and fewer paleoanthropologists have been using it over the last few years. ...

The case of the Neandertal salmon

1 minute read

I’ve been doing a good amount of reading about Neandertal diets lately, and have some stuff to report. First, a recent paper by Hervé Bocherens, Gennady Bary...

Kebara hyoid still speaking

4 minute read

In an open access article in PLoS ONE, Ruggero D’Anastasio and colleagues take a closer look at the internal structure of the hyoid bone from the Kebara 2 Ne...

Neandertal self-medication

5 minute read

Karen Hardy and colleagues (2013) have a brief paper in a recent issue of Antiquity putting into context their recent finding about possible medicinal plant ...

The Altai Neandertal

6 minute read

It is notable that we now have evidence for interbreeding among every kind of hominin we have DNA from, and some we don’t.

Photo: Amud Cave in the rain

less than 1 minute read

I hiked to Amud Cave today with Clive Finlayson. It’s a short hike on a well-marked trail, up the Wadi Amud. The word means “pillar”, and you can see the dra...

Neandertal painted shell pendant

2 minute read

The final paragraph of this new paper by Marco Peresani and colleagues Peresani:2013 lists all the essential details:

Weaning a Neandertal

6 minute read

Last week, Nature published a paper by Christine Austin and colleagues, in which they developed a new approach to understand how breastfeeding affects the el...

Neandertal night on PBS

2 minute read

This Wednesday (May 15) is Neandertal night on PBS stations in the U.S., with two documentary programs covering the last few years of science about these anc...

180 million Neandertals

less than 1 minute read

Just got back proofs of a book chapter I have coming out soon with Zach Throckmorton. My favorite paragraph:

A new high-coverage Neandertal genome

3 minute read

Today, Svante Pääbo’s group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology released high-coverage sequence data from a toe bone from Denisova Cave...

Speaking of Neandertal FOXP2

5 minute read

Tomislav Maricic and colleagues from Svante Pääbo’s group have reported finding a regulatory change in the gene FOXP2 that may be of relevance to the evoluti...

Send in the clones

1 minute read

I didn’t comment on the Neandertal cloning kerfuffle this week. Now that it’s sort of died down, I’ll provide a link to a Knight Science Journalism Tracker s...

Slow cooking Neandertal subsistence

6 minute read

During the past couple of years, new evidence has really shifted our view of Neandertal diet. Even three years ago, it was not unusual to hear Neandertals de...

Neandertal anti-defamation files, 17

2 minute read

Let no one say that I’m an uncritical voice about the many advantages of releasing preprints. They do have their downsides. Lack of editing is one.

"Decoding Neanderthals" to be broadcast

1 minute read

NOVA on American PBS stations has produced a new documentary about Neandertals: “Decoding Neanderthals”. They have just announced that it will be broadcast J...

Mandibles of Neandertals and modern humans

1 minute read

Many of the differences between Neandertals and modern humans can be found in the face and jaw. Neandertals had relatively tall faces, and substantial progna...

Neandertal piece

less than 1 minute read

A piece on my desktop that I’ve been meaning to blog is by Sarah Zielinsky in National Geographic News: “Neanderthals … They’re Just Like Us?”. Several good ...

Mailbag: The Neandertal species question

less than 1 minute read

Hello Dr. Hawks, I understand your a busy man so my question will be brief. I learned in my biology class that two different species can not interbreed and p...

A Neandertal mortuary in Spain?

less than 1 minute read

El Pais has a fascinating story about the Paleolithic sites in the Lozoya river valley: “A Neanderthal trove in Madrid”.

A Neandertal research report

less than 1 minute read

Rebecca Wragg Sykes went to the European Society for Human Evolution meetings last week and reports on some of the Neandertal-related research presentations:...

Neandertals lacked mental eminence

6 minute read

If you care about Neandertal behavior and haven’t read this 2004 article by John Speth, you really should treat yourself: “News flash: Negative evidence conv...

Neanders got no reason

less than 1 minute read

Razib Khan raises the question whether Neandertal cloning could be ethical, and a varied comment thread quickly ensues.

LRJ as a transitional industry

2 minute read

I was reading this morning an interesting paper from last year by Damien Flas Flas:2011, who considered the context of archaeological assemblages grouped as ...

Reindeer hides and Neandertals

1 minute read

In reference to the post below about Quina Mousterian and reindeer specialization (“Paleoclimate and shifting Neandertal strategies”), let me add this great ...

Neandertal upgrade

less than 1 minute read

Kyle Jarrard of the Huffington Post visits the current science about Neandertals, with a nice piece focusing on David Frayer’s work: “Neanderthals getting a ...

Neandertal anti-defamation files, 16

less than 1 minute read

Barbara King joins the Neandertal Anti-Defamation League with her new post at NPR: “Giving Neanderthals Some Respect (Especially In An Election Year)”.

Neandertals and eagle talons

2 minute read

Eugène Morin and Vronique Laroulandie have published a new paper in PLoS ONE demonstrating evidence that some Neandertals had a fetish for eagle talons Morin...

Piltdown and Presapiens

5 minute read

Robin McKie has a feature article about the Piltdown hoax in the Observer today, that makes good reading for those who may not know the history of this case:...

Stature estimates for Sima de los Huesos

6 minute read

Jos-Miguel Carretero and colleagues Carretero:stature:2012 report on the lengths of long bones from Sima de los Huesos, Spain. I’ve long been hoping this res...

Looking over a Neandertal's shoulder

8 minute read

A study by Di Vincenzo, Steven Churchill and Giorgio Manzi has fallen into the early drawer of the Journal of Human Evolution: “The Vindija Neanderthal scapu...

Neandertal anti-defamation files, 14

less than 1 minute read

Another Geico commercial tonight during college football bowl season: Geico Caveman is playing Scrabble with some famous NFL player. Caveman plays “CAT” and ...

Neandertal cranial anatomy

1 minute read

The Neandertals were Late Pleistocene inhabitants of Europe, and their skeletal remains were among the first fossil humans that scientists recognized as repr...

No Neandertal safe sex

7 minute read

Laurent Excoffier and colleagues’ work has investigated how range expansions may have affected human genetic diversity. I’ve commented on this work several t...

La Cotte de St. Brelade profiled

less than 1 minute read

The BBC is running a nice article about the ongoing excavations on the island of Jersey at La Cotte de St. Brelade. “Neanderthal survival story revealed in J...

Mailbag: Where did Neandertals come from?

1 minute read

Dr. Hawks, I greatly enjoyed your course on the rise of humans I purchased through the Teaching Company. I could not find the answer to this question: ...

Tonto? Que timo!

less than 1 minute read

I don’t read Spanish well, but I read it well enough to know that Millán Mozota’s blog, “EL NEANDERTAL TONTO QU TIMO!” (the stupid Neandertal – what a con jo...

Neandertals of the North

10 minute read

Ludovic Slimak and colleagues this week argue that Byzovaya, a site in the Russian far north, was produced by Neandertals: “Late Mousterian Persistence near ...

Mac attack

less than 1 minute read

From satirical site Glossy News: “Painting of Big Mac Found in Neanderthal Cave”.

Neandertal taste

2 minute read

I didn’t comment on this study when it came out in 2009, but as I’m reviewing some materials I thought it worth taking down a note. Carles Lalueza-Fox and co...

Neandertal anti-defamation files, 11

less than 1 minute read

Slate has an editorial by Farhad Manjoo, featuring the idiocy of people who write crank letters to NPR (“We Listen to NPR Precisely To Avoid This Sort of Stu...

Neandertal segments of X chromosomes

15 minute read

Last year, this Neandertal genome came out. No doubt you’ve heard about it. So maybe by now you’re wondering where the new science is that’s being done on th...

Neandertal anti-defamation files, 8

less than 1 minute read

OK, at ScienceOnline2011 I did a little bit of talking about Neandertals represented in art. So this entry in the NAD files truly pains me.

Membership has its privileges

6 minute read

A new paper in PNAS by Erik Trinkaus covers the mortality patterns of old versus young adults in Neandertals, early modern humans in the Levant and early Upp...

Denisovans did not have red hair

6 minute read

At least, the Denisova sequence does not have any of the variants in humans that are associated with red hair. Nor does it share the unique Neandertal varian...

Tartar control and Neandertal plant use

6 minute read

Dental plaque is a biofilm made up of bacteria adhering to the enamel surface of the teeth. Plaque is soft but over many days can gradually calcify. The hard...

Selection versus drift in Neandertal evolution

less than 1 minute read

My graduate student Marc Kissel and I are putting on a poster today at the AAPA meetings. Marc has prepared a nice PDF of the poster and we’re putting it her...

The Denisova genome FAQ

20 minute read

Today, a paper by David Reich and colleagues presents the nuclear genome of the Denisova pinky bone Reich:Denisova:2010. This is the second whole genome of a...

Neandertal band of brothers

5 minute read

Carles Lalueza-Fox and colleagues Lalueza-Fox:patrilocal:2010 have a new analysis of the mitochondrial DNA from El Sidrón, Spain. The site has a minimum numb...

Neandertal stories on parade

4 minute read

Long-time science journalist Robin McKie has a long article in The Observer about the Neandertals this weekend: “Neanderthals: how needles and skins gave us ...

The Neandertals of Mount Doom

12 minute read

Well, I already snarked on the science headlines that have been claiming volcanoes “wiped out” the Neandertals. Some variation of this story, swapping in a d...

Neandertal fashion

less than 1 minute read

I missed this at the time, but when National Geographic had that Neandertal issue a couple of years ago, they commissioned some Project Runway designers to m...

Neandertal headlines

less than 1 minute read

For two weeks I’ve been reading news feeds about how volcanoes killed the Neandertals. I mean, seriously:

Sketchbook

less than 1 minute read

Today’s sketchbook:

Adopt a Neandertal

1 minute read

Kyle Munkittrick of the “Science Not Fiction” blog argues, “Yes, we should clone Neanderthals.”

Return of the Neanderchimps

7 minute read

Back in 2005, I reviewed the first description of fossil chimpanzee teeth, from the Middle Pleistocene of the Kapthurin Formation, Kenya, dating to around 50...

Mailbag: Neandertal colors

1 minute read

Regarding that cool new app from Apple/Smithsonian... I know it's really all just for fun, but seeing that there is only one Neandertal face for everyone to ...

Neanderate yourself

less than 1 minute read

If you want to give yourself a caveman (or cavewoman) makeover, well, now there’s an app for that:

More X-Woman thoughts

3 minute read

I had a great session with my advanced students yesterday running through different evolutionary scenarios for the X-Woman. This and some later posts will fo...

The Denisova mtDNA sequence: The X-Woman

9 minute read

In this week’s copy of Nature, Johannes Krause and colleagues Krause:Denisova:2010 report on the complete mitochondrial sequence of a pinky bone from Denisov...

Art and science of fleshed-out fossils

4 minute read

I had the neat experience yesterday of talking to a class about scientific illustration, from my point of view as a scientist who does a lot of illustrating ...

Krapina Neandertal museum

less than 1 minute read

Reuters correspondent Zoran Radosavljevic reports on the recent opening of the new museum at Krapina, Croatia. The museum is devoted to Neandertals, and repr...

Where there's not smoke…

2 minute read

Anne-Laure Daniau, Francesco d’Errico and Maria Fernanda Snchez Goi went looking for signs that Upper Paleolithic Europeans were using fire to control ecosys...

Mailbag: Quest for Fire

1 minute read

Night before last I was flipping channels and Quest For Fire was on one of the cable stations. I did not see it when it first came out but vaguely remember ...

Sketchbook

less than 1 minute read

Today’s sketchbook:

The Human Spark, episode 1

6 minute read

I got to sit down and watch most of the first episode of “The Human Spark” on PBS tonight (my earlier post). Our local station shows these things later than ...

Crete: Pleistocene port of call?

1 minute read

Bruce Bower reports on excavations by Thomas Strasser on the Mediterranean island of Crete: “Ancient hominids may have been seafarers”.

Neanderart

less than 1 minute read

Alan Boyle reports on two new papers in PNAS. The first concerns the dental development of the Lagar Velho skeleton. The second verges on Neandertal art:

Neandertal CSI revisited

less than 1 minute read

Discover has put an article online that they ran in the November issue, which features Steven Churchill’s research (“Did we mate with Neanderthals, or did we...

Qafzeh teeth like Neandertals

3 minute read

Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg and Donald Reid report on the perikymata spacing of a sample of fourteen anterior teeth from Qafzeh. These are “early modern humans...

Sima species

less than 1 minute read

Michael Balter has a nice Science writeup of the recent Gibraltar conference, “Human Evolution 150 Years After Darwin.”

Darwin's Neandertal encounter

1 minute read

Michael Balter reports on the historical work of Alex Menez, at the Gibraltar Museum: “When Darwin Met a Neandertal”.

Neandertals, plants, and fish

1 minute read

I don’t read Spanish well, but I’m going to go ahead and link a news article in a Spanish journal about Neandertal diet and cooking at the Spanish site of El...

Neandertals talking from the past

less than 1 minute read

I’m getting a lot of hits this month on a post from last year, “The amazing talking Neandertals”. Don’t know why….

Neandertals: something on their chests

4 minute read

New in the Journal of Human Evolution: Asier Gómez-Olivencia and colleagues present a new description of the ribcage of Kebara 2. When it comes to postcrania...

Kate Wong on Neandertal twilight

1 minute read

Kate Wong’s cover story in the current Scientific American, “The Mysterious Downfall of the Neandertals”, is also available online. It’s a great pleasure to ...

Pbo on Neandertal sequencing

1 minute read

On Edge, Svante Pääbo has a long and interesting narrative about Neandertal genetics, FoxP2 mice, his own biography, and everything else. Nothing new to be h...

Bigfoot biogeography

5 minute read

So a couple of weeks ago, the Journal of Biogeography published a paper arguing that humans and orangutans are sister taxa.

Neandertal dredged from North Sea

1 minute read

The Netherlands National Museum of Antiquities is starting an exhibit of a Neandertal frontal bone dredged from the bottom of the North Sea. The Dutch langua...

Sketchbook

less than 1 minute read

Today’s sketchbook:

Putting down roots

1 minute read

Last year, I reported on the strontium isotope study that showed that the Lakonis Greek Neandertal individual died at least 20 km from the place he was raise...

Neandertals and bears

11 minute read

For most of their prehistory, humans were highly mobile hunter-gatherers. We can expect that Neandertals were also highly mobile, at least compared to sedent...

Neandertal races?

7 minute read

There’s a new paper in PLoS ONE by Virginie Fabre, Silvana Condemi and Anna Degioanni, titled “Genetic evidence of geographical groups among Neanderthals.” I...

Local adaptation in population sinks

11 minute read

Different populations of humans live at markedly different densities. Human populations historically have had very different growth rates. Although Pleistoce...

Neandertal longevity and pulp cavities

1 minute read

Rachel Caspari has been doing some amazing work with micro-CT scans of Neandertal teeth. The work got profiled this week by Elizabeth Culotta in the Science ...

Neandertal: The Resurrection

4 minute read

Friday morning, I got back to teaching after my trip this week. So I filled my students in a bit about the Neandertal genome. One of them had been reading th...

Mandibular ramus shape in A. afarensis

less than 1 minute read

Afarensis returns to a 2007 paper by Yoel Rak and colleagues on the mandibular ramus of Australopithecus afarensis. The post wends its way through the Neande...

Neandertals: not all hypercarnivores

1 minute read

Razib points to a story about a human origins symposium at Harvard – the same one where the Neandertal genome was discussed. This story includes a review of ...

Myths about Neandertals

3 minute read

Tyler Cowen comments on last week’s “Let’s clone mammoths, and OOH OOH Neandertals too” article. I’m pointing to the post because the commenters embody so ma...

Prince Valiant encounters Neandertals?

less than 1 minute read

I don’t have a picture, but this week Prince Valiant seems to have encountered a band of Neandertals. At least, they look just like Neandertals that Charles ...

Neandertal diet was not dolphin-safe

8 minute read

Chris Stringer and colleagues (including Finlayson and Barton) have a paper in the current PNAS early bin describing Neandertal exploitation of marine mammal...

Neandertals: It's about them, not us

3 minute read

National Geographic has posted its October cover story about Neandertals, reported by Stephen Hall. It’s a good introduction to some recent work, particularl...

Shanidar photo

less than 1 minute read

I stumbled across a beautiful photo of Shanidar Cave on Flickr, by James Gordon (Creative Commons license).

Acceleration's discontents

7 minute read

The June Scientific American (no link available) has an article on page 32 about the “therapeutic value of blogging.” That’s some relief, after the stories a...

The two "out of Africas"

1 minute read

Another of the craniometric stories going around this week (Discovery News) proposes that early Levantine modern humans (Skhul-Qafzeh) and Pleistocene Austr...

The (non-)neutral Neandertals

4 minute read

OK, I'm clearly going to have to cut out the beer if I'm going to do anything about stories like this one:

D'Errico on Neandertal language

2 minute read

Edmund Blair Bolles is reporting from the Evolang conference in Barcelona. Unfortunately I had to cancel my presentation there, but it has been great to rea...

10,000 B[rainless] C[ontent]?

5 minute read

The movie, 10,000 B.C., blew away the competition last weekend, with an estimated $35.7 million in US box office receipts.

The "dark matter" of modern human origins

10 minute read

I'm just looking through the January/February 2008 Evolutionary Anthropology, which is all about modern human origins in Africa. The special issue resulted ...

An interview with Michelle Drapeau

13 minute read

I've been trying to spread the interviews across the field in various directions. I (virtually) talked with Mica Glantz about Neandertals, Adam Van Arsdale ...

New Year's predictions, 2008 edition

5 minute read

It's that time of year again -- the time when those boring ``Year in Review'' magazines are on newsstands, and when pundits make fools of themselves predict...

An interview with Anne Weaver

9 minute read

I was surprised and delighted last week, when I got in the mail a copy of the new book, The Voyage of the Beetle.

Introgression encore

5 minute read

Although I've had a number of papers come out this year, there are two in particular that I've been working on for quite a long time. Both papers began thei...

AAA-bound

1 minute read

I'm going to be at the American Anthropological Association meetings this week, from Wednesday evening to Saturday morning. Maybe you'll see me!

An interview with Mica Glantz

11 minute read

Last month, Johannes Krause and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology published mitochondrial DNA sequences from two Asian ...

The amazing talking Neandertals

15 minute read

This week, Johannes Krause and colleagues from the Max Planck Evolutionary Anthropology institute announced that they had tickled FoxP2 out of two Neanderta...

Despite appearances, I am not a shill

less than 1 minute read

OK, so the last couple of days it seems like I've been a repeating station for the New York Times Science section. That's mostly by accident -- there were s...

Find your way in the dark with FoxP2

3 minute read

It's the wonder gene that makes the mute birds sing, the mute mice squeak and the mute Neandertals talk. And now, we find out that it fights mosquitoes, too...

Brushing aside a climate red herring

2 minute read

The current Nature is carrying an article by geochronologist Chronis Tzedakis and colleagues, claiming that Neandertals didn't succumb to climate change. I ...

Howler hybrid hunting

5 minute read

Alouatta palliata and Alouatta pigra are sympatric in parts of their ranges, and they give rise to visibly obvious hybrids. Liliana Cortés-Ortiz and colleagu...

When fossils traveled

2 minute read

On the subject of the "Lucy" exhibit, a 1984 article (links are to the Times Select archive, which is not free) recalls the problems that accompanied anothe...

The bleeding handaxe

1 minute read

National Geographic News' most popular story today is "Odd skull boosts human, Neandertal interbreeding theory."

A Neanderthal droog?

less than 1 minute read

The Telegraph has a Roger Highfield article about those zany Neanderthals.

At last, the death of the Toba bottleneck

3 minute read

It is no secret that I really don't like the hypothesis that the massive ancient eruption of Mt. Toba, Sumatra, wiped out much of the worldwide human popula...

Neandertal genome damage profile

1 minute read

It's another week, which means it's time for another of the mysteriously-not-yet-appeared PNAS papers. But this time, a friendly source sent me the paper (w...

Ancient DNA profile

3 minute read

An article by science writer Henry Nicholls in PLoS Biology covers a lot of ground. Most of the attention goes to Alan Cooper, with Svante Pääbo i...

Shell beads at three corners of Africa

6 minute read

Bouzouggar et al. (2007) report on a series of perforated Nassarius shell beads found in a layer dating to ca. 82,000 years ago in Grotte des Pigeons, Moroc...

Global biopharming

5 minute read

Planting time has arrived in most of the country -- even here in zone 4 -- so you may be reading those seed packets carefully. This paragraph may catch your...

Gotta change

less than 1 minute read

Bizarrely, I'm now listening to the voice of Drew Carey telling me about Neanderthals. It's on Prehistoric Planet, which is one of the Discovery Kids shows....

Quote of the day

less than 1 minute read

Business columnist John Brandt, using "Neanderthal Inc." as a stand-in for your typical stupid corporation:

No Neandertal in you?

5 minute read

Elizabeth Pennisi has a news article in today's Science with the headline, "No Sex Please, We're Neandertals." It covers a couple of talks by Svante Pä...

A guide to fantasy science

5 minute read

I'm about two-thirds of the way through Mike Morwood's new book, The Discovery of the Hobbit, and I'll be posting a review when I'm through. Generally, I ha...

The genetics of refugia

4 minute read

The NY Times gave a short writeup earlier this week to a paper about ancient DNA from arctic foxes:

Notes on "Darwinian agriculture"

5 minute read

R. Ford Denison's blog, "This Week in Evolution," has become a very interesting read since he began a couple of months ago. Denison recently attended a symp...

Tianyuan

6 minute read

OK, NEWS FLASH: "Out of Africa dispersal was not as simple as once thought."

Floresiensis presentations

4 minute read

I'm at the AAPA meetings in Philadelphia this week, which were preceded yesterday and today by the meetings of the Paleoanthropology Society.

Hunter-gatherer mortality

5 minute read

Kim Hill and colleagues (2007) report in the current Journal of Human Evolution on the mortality profile of recent Hiwi hunter-gatherers. Here is their abst...

How modern is "modern tooth development"?

2 minute read

Regular readers of the blog will remember previous occasions when I have written about dental development in fossil humans. I am by no means an expert on th...

A Neandertal genome exchange

1 minute read

A letter in this week's Science by Thomas Erren and colleagues (2007) questions the whole-genome approach to sequencing Neandertals:

Quote of the day

less than 1 minute read

G. H. R. von Koenigswald, in "Early Man: Facts and Fantasy", p. 67:

Game theory and developmental robusticity

17 minute read

The introduction of game theory into evolutionary biology is often credited to George Price and John Maynard Smith. This is for good reason; together they w...

The PBS science showdown

2 minute read

I like my science-show narrators disembodied. I especially like it if they sound like Liev Schreiber. Alec Baldwin, I don't mind, although I always feel lik...

Cavemen, clubs, and squash racquets

1 minute read

This is that Superbowl time of year when everybody's thinking about advertising, so I thought it appropriate to point to this post (Ron Rosenbaum) about tho...

More on Kostenki

2 minute read

John Hoffecker, one of the authors of the Science paper by Anikovich et al., wrote a consideration of some of the points in my two posts of last week (here...

The initial Upper Paleolithic at Kostenki

11 minute read

In one of those interesting twists of bibliographic fate, before today's announcement about the new dates for the initial Upper Paleolithic at Kostenki, I h...

New Year's predictions, 2007 edition

4 minute read

It's a hazardous business, making predictions -- all the moreso because New Year's predictions have a deadline. If they don't happen this year, well, that's...

Kent's Cavern report on the way?

2 minute read

I thought I'd link to this article from This Is South Devon. There aren't any real new details, but it sounds like there may be a report on Kent's Cavern so...

Poincaré pusillanimy

less than 1 minute read

So Science named the Poincaré conjecture proof as the "breakthrough of the year." I got my year-end Discover a couple of weeks ago, and they said thi...

The inevitability of introgression

5 minute read

I'd like to draw your attention to my new article on genetic introgression from archaic humans, written with Gregory Cochran. The article is in PaleoAnthrop...

More on Neandertal women hunting

2 minute read

Some readers have asked whether the skeletons of Neandertal females don't provide a test of the idea that they were hunting. For instance, could we find evi...

Welcome, Instapundit readers

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It's a minor deluge, but I have some extra traffic today from Instapundit, linked to the barbaric yawping post. I'm still waiting on the cannibalism paper t...

Quote of the day

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Regular Althouse commenter Madison Man, on the story about Neandertal women hunting:

Neandertal sexual division of labor

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I've been reading the new paper by Steven Kuhn and Mary Stiner about Neandertal versus modern human organizational strategies. I'm taking a lot of notes abo...

Eemian subsistence patterns

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Gaudzinski (2004) reviewed evidence from four sites from the German Eemian, to see what conclusions could be drawn about Neandertal subsistence. The interes...

Neandertal genome FAQ

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With the release of the initial two papers describing chromosomal DNA sequences from a Neandertal, I thought I would put together some frequently asked ques...

Neandertal genomics begins

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The papers are just being released. I have had copies for a while and have lots of commentary, which I'll be putting up in the next day or so -- the delay i...

Incredible demand, backup server

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I got slammed with crazy demand after the Neandertal genome stuff came out today. I will be updating later today with more information, including an FAQ.

The real Neanderthin

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I was talking to some folks about the isotope values for Neandertals, and was immensely surprised to find out that nitrogen-15 (15N) proportions can be driv...

Why introgression?

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I heard from a long-time correspondent this morning concerning introgression of microcephalin from archaic humans. I'm not sharing the whole message, but I ...

Some chin biomechanics

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As an aside from the Neandertal theme, I ran across a paper from earlier this year by Ichim, Swain, an Kieser, where they apply a mechanical model to mandib...

Neandertal introgression, genetic-style

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The paper by Patrick Evans and colleagues, from Bruce Lahn's lab, is now live (and free) at PNAS. There is a short news report by Michael Balter at ScienceN...

Neandertal introgression, anatomically

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I'm just finished with the Neandertal meeting in San Diego, so it's time to decompress a bit. And what better way to do it than some more Neandertal bloggin...

Headed to a symposium

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For folks in the San Diego / Southern California area, I'm going to be at a symposium at the Salk Institute this Friday and Saturday. The Friday portion is ...

Vapor-sci of the week

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It's been a very busy week, and I find that I haven't updated much while a whirl of stuff is going on. A lot of the new stuff is "vapor-sci" -- news stories...

A Neandertal structure

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After the press report earlier this week about Eemian Neandertals hunting elephants in France, we now have a story from Der Spiegel (German) about a Neander...

Radiocarbon fudgery

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I skipped last week's (9/15/2006) Science, and so missed this article by Michael Balter on radiocarbon dating. But some online discussion boards have been t...

Did australopithecines croak?

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With apologies to the late Frank Livingstone, I couldn't help but wonder this as I read this passage from Bernard Wood's comment on the Dikika skeleton:

Not a lasting last for the Neandertals

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The latest in a long line of “last known Neandertal” sites is now Gorham’s Cave, Gibraltar. Of course, if this were actually a continuing string of “latest” ...

Shellfish use by Neandertals

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I got the Neanderthals on the Edge volume by interlibrary loan to follow up the Barton shellfish consumption reference. Here is the relevant passage from th...

Quote of the day

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Milford Wolpoff, in “Neandertals in our family tree”: </p>

MS Word as scientific authority

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In case you haven't been following the "pluton" controversy, here's a pointer to Nature News on the topic. A pluton is a kind of underground igneous rock fo...

Interstratified palimpsests

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Very nearly this time last year, I commented on a paper by Brad Gravina, Paul Mellars, and Christopher Bronk Ramsey concerning the stratigraphy of the Ch&ac...

Quote of the day

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Ronald M. Green, ethicist, on building the "Bride of Neanderthal":

Neandertal genome project

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By now you've probably read something about the Neandertal genome project. But have you seen the press kit from 454 Life Sciences?

DOE genomics

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Linked on Evolgen, I found this post from Nobel Intent that gives a quick summary of reasons the U.S. Department of Energy is in the genomics business. It's...

Teaser on Neandertal genomics

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There is an article about the nuclear genome work on Neandertals running in Wired, by reporter Annalee Newitz (first on Gene Expression). There's not much t...

Quote of the day

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Metagenomics maven Eddy Rubin, on grinding up some more Neandertals, in Wired:

Did Neandertals need better mitochondria?

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Orlando and colleagues (DOI link) provide 123 base-pairs of sequence from a tooth dating to 100,000 years ago from Scladina cave, Belgium. The study's lede ...

Vindija nuclear DNA report

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Nature News is reporting that a million base pairs of a Neandertal specimen from Vindija cave have been sequenced. There's no paper; it's just a press repor...

"The catechism about genetic drift"

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Razib has been working over genetic drift real good (concerning effective population size and population history, and founder effects). It deserves it.

Animal cultures, communication, and signs

6 minute read

I have been reading an interesting article from 2002 by Dominique Lestel, considering the definition of culture and its applicability to animals. The focus ...

Has the dam broken on mtDNA selection?

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The current Science has a paper by Eric Bazin and colleagues comparing mtDNA diversity with population size, history and ecology of 3000 animal species.

Mitochondrial disease minireview

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This week's Nature had a news feature by Nick Lane about mitochondrial disease. I found it interesting because it focuses not only on disorders associated w...

Acheulean endings

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There is no hard endpoint to the Acheulean; its tool types -- in particular the handaxe -- last well into the MSA/Middle Paleolithic. Here are some notes on...

Death of the frail

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I found this quote from Vaupel et al. (2003) very interesting:

While I was out: a profile appeared

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I've been sick as a dog the last two days, so I haven't been posting. But in the meantime, the UW news service has posted a very cool article about the webl...

An LDS DNA difficulty

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The LA Times is carrying a story by writer William Lobdell about the apparent conflict between the Book of Mormon and DNA evidence for New World settlement....

Vindija G1 now 32,000 BP

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A paper (PDF) by Tom Higham and colleagues presents a redated chronology for the late Neandertals from Vindija, Croatia. There are two directly dated homini...

New Year's predictions, 2006 edition

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The weblog didn't start from zero a year ago; the sections related to my courses and the Flores files long predate that. But it has been a year since I star...

Zimmer on Templeton

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Carl Zimmer has a post discussing Alan Templeton's work. It's a good review, covering Templeton's two essential points: history cannot be traced from any si...

Serial founder effects

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This post is from 2005, and reflects my analysis at the time. The concepts here remain correct but the current state of evidence about human genetic variatio...

A little night music

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Mars and the moon are in conjunction tonight, as I happened to notice outside. With a full moon they are a spectacular show.

BROADLY CONSISTENT WATCH I

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I'm starting a new tradition here, the "Broadly Consistent Watch." If you see that headline, you can be sure I'll be noting an abuse of the term "broadly co...

Neandertal teeth: fast or slow?

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National Geographic online is running a news story describing a new study of Neandertal dental development. The study is by Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg and co...

Metrosexual Neandertals

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Paleoanthropology defines the "slow news cycle". What else can explain The Independent (UK) picking up this six-month-old story about Gary Sawyer's and Blai...

Diagnosing science reporting

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The Guardian is running a great editorial about why (and how) science reporting is bad: OK, here's something weird. Every week in Bad Science we either v...

Frontiers of human origins

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This month's Discover came in the mail today. In celebration of their 25th anniversary, their issue is devoted to "Frontiers of Science", with articles cove...

The first Neanderchimp?

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McBrearty and Jablonski (2005) report on the first discovery of chimpanzee fossil remains. The described fossils are three teeth: left and right upper centr...

Mellars on Neandertal-modern coexistence

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Reuters is reporting on a study by Paul Mellars [UPDATE (8/31/05): Brad Gravina] and others concerning Neandertal-modern archaeological coexistence. Apparen...

Grotte des Fées de Châtelperron

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Gravina et al. (2005) report on the radiocarbon stratigraphy of Grotte des Fées de Châtelperron, which is the original type site of the Châtelperronia...

Paging Randy Newman…

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If "short people got no reason to live", then why exactly do they live longer than tall people?

Ape to Man

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OK, we have it on, and I've already had a couple of laughs, so I guess I'll take some notes as it goes.

Neandertals: gone fishin' or not?

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An earlier post reviewed recent work by Bocherens and colleaugues (2005) attributing high nitrogen-15 proportions in Neandertal bones to mammoth consumption...

Neandertals noshed on mammoth meat?

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In an article in the Jul 2005 issue of Journal of Human Evolution, Hervé Bocherens and colleagues contribute new isotopic values for bone collagen fr...

The Freudian artifact

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Why is it that the BBC always picks up stories like this one? (via palanthsci)

Sexual dimorphism in A. afarensis, again

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Earlier this year, Michael Plavcan et al. (2005) had a critique in Journal of Human Evolution of the 2004 paper by Philip Reno et al. in PNAS concerning sex...

Resetting the molecular clock

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A commentary in Nature by molecular biologist David Penny discusses a recent paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution by Simon Ho and colleagues (2005). The...

The mammoth tundra

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Geophysicist Sergey Zimov had an essay in the May 6 edition of Science concerning the ecological pressures that may have changed the Arctic ecosystem at the...

Cave bear genomics

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A new article on the epub area of Science, by James Noonan (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) describes the recovery of nuclear DNA sequences from cave...

The top unanswered science questions

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Science is running a series on the top 125 unanswered questions in science, in honor of their 125th anniversary. The top 25 of them have short essays devote...

More assimilation, genetic-style

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Daniel Garrigan and colleagues (2005) have an article in press in Genetics, titled "Deep haplotype divergence and long-range linkage disequilibrium at Xp21....

Stalking the wild ebu gogo

6 minute read

In the current issue of Anthropology Today, there is a great article by Greg Forth (University of Alberta), covering the ebu gogo legend, and the impact of ...

Human evolution "at the crossroads"

8 minute read

MSNBC has posted a new entry in its series on "future evolution," this one covering possible scenarios for the evolution of our species in the future. This ...

The mobile Neandertal

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Beauval et al. (2005) report on the anatomy, mtDNA genetics, and archaeological associations of a femur shaft fragment from Les Rochers-de-Villeneuve, Franc...

Keith on Kent's Cavern

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Following up on my earlier post on the Kent's Cavern 4 maxilla: although my library doesn't have back issues of the Proceedings of the Torquay Natural Histo...

What is the Kent's Cavern maxilla?

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Kent's Cavern, near Torquay, England, underwent systematic archaeological investigation beginning in the 1860's, proceeding intermittently up to the present...

Who colonized the European Arctic?

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I happened across an article by Pavlov and colleagues (2001) about the Mamontovaya Kurya site in the Russian Arctic. From the abstract (64):

NSF and data access

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Mark Weiss from NSF appeared at the AAPA business meeting to discuss recent changes in the funding guidelines from the Physical Anthropology program. The mo...

Bringing down "Goliath"

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This post is from 2005. More recent research has shifted much of what scientists used to think about Middle Pleistocene hominins in Africa. This research is ...

Caring for the edentulous

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One of the features of the National Geographic (April 2005) article on Dmanisi is the discussion of the necessity of other people to aid and care for the ol...

PhyloCode and human evolution

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The April issue of Discover has a feature article on PhyloCode, focusing on the roles of Jacques Gauthier and Kevin de Queiroz in trying to revise the code ...

A show of "no support"

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In an article about the controversy over the Liang Bua fossils, Rex Dalton of Nature inserts this non sequitur:

The Ultimate Survivor!

6 minute read

OK, I was drawn in by the first few minutes, so I'm liveblogging the National Geographic show, "The Ultimate Survivor."

The Singing Neandertal

2 minute read

Is it just me, or does this remind anyone of "The Dancing Cavalier" from Singin' in the Rain?

Dental growth in early Homo

3 minute read

Dean and colleagues (2001) present a study of perikymata counts of anterior teeth (incisors and canines) in early humans and australopithecines, compared to...

Continents of continuity

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Harding and McVean (2005) present a review of current genetic evidence addressing the origin of modern humans. Unlike other recent reviews, they do not pres...

Diet and mtDNA selection

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Lowell and Shulman (2005) report on the possible links between the metabolic defects underlying type 2 diabetes and mitochondrial dysfunction. These links g...

Biochemistry and intelligent design

2 minute read

Thanks to a student, I have a link to an opinion in the online edition of the Valley Morning Star from Harlingen, Texas. The column is a long declaration o...

Protsched!

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The Guardian has this story on the ouster of Prof. Dr. Reiner Protsch von Zeiten from the University of Frankfort. In another opportunity for creationists t...

Omo Kibish redating

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The news stories (nature.com) are focusing on the idea that the “earliest” modern humans are now 35,000 years earlier than they had been. This is the amount ...

Can somebody find these hobbits a mommy?

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More on the evolving story of the hobbit remains in this story (smh.com.au). Like most custody battles, the fight over these little guys is burning a lot o...

Did they do it?

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John Noble Wilford has an article in today's New York Times on the Neandertal conference. He focuses on Jim Ahern's (University of Wyoming) talk, which ask...

Neandertal mtDNA from El Sidrón, Spain

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Lalueza-Fox and colleagues (2005) report on the recovery of endogenous mtDNA from a Neandertal specimen from El Sidrón cave, in northern Spain. The f...

Species concepts

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A new population that results from a speciation event is called a species. But although species result from a simple process, recognizing species in nature ...

Neandertals in NYC

20 minute read

I'm sitting at my gate at LaGuardia, returning from a conference at NYU, titled "Neanderthals revisited: New approaches and perspectives," cosponsored by th...

How much selection does it take?

13 minute read

I was involved in a discussion this weekend that I think reveals much about the current state of evolutionary genomics. The forum was the "Neanderthals Rev...

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...

Two recent bottleneck studies

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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...

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.

Frequently asked questions about the site

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Why do you use that huuuuge font? I'm trying to find your e-mail address, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere. Are you trying to mess with my mind? I have a ...