Chimps have theory of mind?

One of the defining traits of humanity is conciousness or “sapience.” Arguably it’s what separates us from the beasts, so understanding its development is of prime importance when examining human evolution. To identify the origin of concious thought is to identify the very origin of

How our brains didn’t get big

The social brain hypothesis suggests that our brains, specifically our neocortex, grew larger because it allowed us to remember more relationships and thus live in larger groups which gave us an evolutionary advantage. The evidence for this is rather strong, allowing us to put one

Neanderthals had differently shaped brains

By all accounts Homo neanderthalensis should’ve driven Homo sapiens extinct. They had larger brains, stronger muscles and thicker bones. Yet we are the only species of Homo alive in the world today, creating one of the most puzzling aspects of recent human evolution. How did

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Last neanderthals found near the Arctic

It’s Europe, 48,000 years ago and things are not going well for Homo neanderthalensis. A deteriorating climate in Central Europe forced both them and the newly arrived Homo sapiens to abandon almost the entire continent. They retreated in Spain whilst we returned to the Middle

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Why our brains are big

One of the biggest mysteries regarding human origins is why our brains became so big (or “encephalised” in fancy shmamcy science language). Over the past ~2.5 million years our thinking organ has gradually tripled in size, but what was the advantage such growth conferred that

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Scientific pick-up tips

Recently I examined an article that suggested we may sexually imprint on our parents and seek out mates similar to them (or at least I like to think I examined it and didn’t just waffle for 700 words). Amidst all the talk of “population homogeneity”

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People sexually imprint on parents?

I recently spied an article in my Google Scholar alert feed that had a rather interesting abstract. This study investigates spousal correlation and mate preference for height in the Japanese population…It also indicates a possible role of a sexual imprinting-like mechanism in human mate choice.

Darwinius masillae: proof of science

2009: Science and the media collide in the most horrific way imaginable; with Darwinius masillae, a beautifully preserved prehistoric primate being trumped up as the answer to human origins and generally claimed to be the best thing since sliced bread. It is not and the