This week was a big one for human evolution; with a bunch of brand new discoveries that may prompt us to re-evaluate the timing of key moments in our evolution. From new (old) species to (older) old technology everything is up in the air. And of course, a bunch of other interesting stuff happened as well, so be sure to read all the way to the bottom and soak in the latest human evolution discoveries.
New human evolution discoveries
This week saw two brand new human evolution discoveries: a new tool industry and a new species of hominin. Both have pretty major implications for our evolution.
- Australopithecus deyiremeda is a brand new member of the human family discovered this week. It lived alongside the famous Lucy fossil; and may be the owner of the mysterious Burtele foot. It may well be a “primitive” hangover, offering us a glimpse into what our ancestors were like at an even older time.
- The Lomekwian is the oldest hominin toolkit ever found; dating to 3.3 million years ago (the same time as Lucy and her new friend). Pre-human species likely made these tools: and they look like it. They’re pretty primitive, being more similar to tools made by a chimp than anything. However, they do show the start of the technological evolution that eventually brought us the computer I’m writing this on.
Re-evaluation and re-dating
Of course, science isn’t just about finding new things. Correcting mistakes and improving our existing knowledge is also very important. This week was no exception, with several refinements to our understanding of human evolution occurring.
- Little Foot is perhaps one of the most complete hominin fossils ever found. However, it’s hard to study as it’s stuck inside a rock. Now scientists of digitised that rock, allowing them to examine the context Little Foot was buried in in more detail than ever.
- We may have to reconsider how complex chimp culture is, after the recent discovery that it includes seemingly useless components. These provide strong evidence that some pretty serious social learning is going down; the existence of which had been contested in the apes.
Whilst we’re making dozens of new human evolution discoveries the psuedoscientists are…just not. But what they are doing is providing hilarious content that’s always worth a chuckle.
- Were Neanderthals super-predators who hunted humans with their ape-like strength? Probably not, but there are some pretty amusing pictures involved in this theory.
- Meanwhile the creationists have already got a grudge against Australopithecus deyiremeda and put their best minds on the case of refuting its existence. The result is the most rambling, nonsensical thing you’ll read all week.