A young Maurice Taieb examines a fossil.
Maurice Taieb, Geologist Who Discovered “Lucy” Site, Dies at 86
Taieb recognized the potential importance of the Hadar Formation, where remains of the hominin Australopithecus afarensis were found only a few years later.
ABOVE: COURTESY OF DONALD JOHANSON
Maurice Taieb, Geologist Who Discovered “Lucy” Site, Dies at 86
Maurice Taieb, Geologist Who Discovered “Lucy” Site, Dies at 86

Taieb recognized the potential importance of the Hadar Formation, where remains of the hominin Australopithecus afarensis were found only a few years later.

Taieb recognized the potential importance of the Hadar Formation, where remains of the hominin Australopithecus afarensis were found only a few years later.

ABOVE: COURTESY OF DONALD JOHANSON
hominin
3 by 5 grid of black and white photos of indigenous Filipino portraits
Indigenous Filipino Group Has Highest Known Denisovan Ancestry
Annie Melchor | Aug 13, 2021
Researchers found the relatively high proportion of DNA from a hominin cousin—nearly 5 percent—when they scanned more than 1,000 genomes from 118 distinct ethnic groups.
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An artist's depiction of a new species of Homo, H. longi
“Dragon Man” May Replace Neanderthal as Our Closest Relative
Amanda Heidt | Jun 25, 2021
A massive, well-preserved skull discovered in China in the 1930s belongs to a new species called Homo longi, researchers report, but experts remain skeptical about the evidence.
Early Humans’ Brains Were More Apelike than Modern
Abby Olena | Apr 8, 2021
Impressions that ancient brains left in fossilized skulls reveal that the first human ancestors to migrate out of Africa had much more primitive brains than previously thought.
hominin homo sapiens heidelbergensis erectus evolution climate change extinction
Climate Change Helped Drive Homo sapiens’ Cousins Extinct: Study
Katarina Zimmer | Oct 15, 2020
Sharp drops in global temperatures helped seal the fate of three extinct hominin species, including our close relatives, the Neanderthals, according to thousands of archaeological specimens and a model of past climate conditions.
Y Chromosome from Early Modern Humans Replaced Neanderthal Y
Jef Akst | Sep 24, 2020
A selective advantage may have led the modern human Y chromosome to sweep through the Neanderthal population after it was introduced via interbreeding more than 100,000 years ago.
Genetics Steps In to Help Tell the Story of Human Origins
Katarina Zimmer | Sep 1, 2020
Africa’s sparse fossil record alone cannot reveal our species’ evolutionary history.
Infographic: Meet Your Ancient Ancestors and Relatives in Africa
Katarina Zimmer | Sep 1, 2020
Modern human genomes and bones left behind from ancient hominins in Africa tell a complex story about the origins of our species.
nmk national museums kenya job kibii fossil micro-ct scan paleontology
Initiative Seeks to CT Scan Kenya’s Unexplored Fossil Trove
Stephenie Livingston | Jul 30, 2020
A paleontologist at the National Museums of Kenya is spearheading an effort to make 3-D reconstructions of the institution’s fossils available internationally.
artifacts homo sapiens ancient hominin neanderthal bulgaria cave
45,000-Year-Old Human Remains Found in Bulgarian Cave
Jef Akst | May 12, 2020
A tooth and six bone fragments are the oldest confirmed Homo sapiens fossils in Europe.
Image of the Day: Slow-Growing Brains
Amy Schleunes | Apr 8, 2020
Scans of eight fossilized adult and infant Australopithecus afarensis skulls reveal a prolonged period of brain growth during development that may have set the stage for extended childhood learning in later hominins.
Image of the Day: Ancient Dental Enamel
Amy Schleunes | Apr 3, 2020
An analysis of fossilized teeth sheds light on the evolutionary relationships between Pleistocene hominins.
a readout showing genetic sequences
Remnants of Extinct Hominin Species Found in West African Genomes
Shawna Williams | Feb 13, 2020
A study points to the existence of an ancient human relative that interbred with Homo sapiens.
Reanalyzed Fossils Could Be Last Known Homo erectus Specimens
Emily Makowski | Dec 18, 2019
A mass death event claimed the hominins’ lives and likely resulted from changing environmental conditions.
Image of the Day: Brains and Braincases
Emily Makowski | Oct 18, 2019
The skull changed shape in different ways than the brain during evolution, according to a new comparative study.
Neanderthal DNA in Modern Human Genomes Is Not Silent
Jef Akst | Sep 1, 2019
From skin color to immunity, human biology is linked to our archaic ancestry.
Exploding Stars Probably Didn’t Spur Hominins to Walk Upright
Ashley Yeager | Sep 1, 2019
The astronomical idea doesn’t align well with the fossil record, anthropologists argue, but the origins of bipedalism are still difficult to determine.
Infographic: History of Ancient Hominin Interbreeding
Jef Akst | Sep 1, 2019
See when and where our ancestors may have interbred with Neanderthals and Denisovans.
skeleton teeth ancient hominin oral microbe dental plaque calculus
Caution Urged for Comparing Ancient and Modern Humans’ Oral Microbes
Alejandra Manjarrez | Aug 7, 2019
Microbial species that are commonly associated with oral diseases in modern humans are unreliable proxies for determining tooth health status in ancient samples, a new study finds.
a fossilized fragment of human jawbone
Denisovan Fossil Identified in Tibetan Cave
Shawna Williams | May 1, 2019
A mandible dating to 160,000 years ago is the first evidence of Denisovan hominins outside the Russian cave where they were first discovered in 2010.