Four fossil skulls
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests
A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests
South African Hominin Fossils Predate Lucy, Analysis Suggests

A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.

A newer dating technique using cosmogenic isotopes finds Australopithecus remains from the Sterkfontein caves to be about 1 million years older than previous estimates, potentially changing scientists’ understanding of humanity’s origins.

skulls
early giraffe relative at the bottom and modern giraffes at top
“Necks for Sex” May Explain Giraffes’ Distinctive Anatomy 
Andy Carstens | Jun 3, 2022
An analysis of skull and vertebrae fossils suggests that an early relative of giraffes butted heads to compete for mates, which may reveal why modern giraffes are so throaty.
Image of not-to-scale renderings of the skulls of various primate species
Surface Area of Tooth Roots Predicts Primate Body Size
Maddie Bender | May 2, 2022
Researchers determine that a primate’s tooth root, and not just its crown, can yield reliable information about body size, but the relationship between root surface area and diet isn’t as clear.
man in suit
Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey Dies at Age 77
Chloe Tenn | Jan 3, 2022
The Kenyan fossil finder is known for his discoveries of various Stone Age artifacts and ancient human skulls and skeletons.
Image of the Day: Bear Sinuses
Amy Schleunes | Apr 10, 2020
A new study finds that the extinct European cave bear’s large sinuses represent a tradeoff between hibernation length and the flexibility of their diets.
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.
ixchel chan hol cenote cave skulls skeletons human remains ancient north american settlers mexico speleology
Skulls from the Yucatán Peninsula a Clue to Early American Settlers
Alejandra Manjarrez | Apr 7, 2020
The crania of individuals who lived in the Yucatán Peninsula during the late Pleistocene show a high degree of anatomical diversity among them, and their skull shapes differ from that of other North American populations of the time.
Image of the Day: Wonderchicken
Amy Schleunes | Mar 20, 2020
A newly discovered fossilized skull is between 66.8 million and 66.7 million years old and bears similarities to modern-day chickens and ducks.
Image of the Day: Tiny Dinosaur
Amy Schleunes | Mar 16, 2020
A roughly 99-million-year-old piece of amber from northern Myanmar contains the skull of what appears to represent the smallest known dinosaur of the Mesozoic era.
Image of the Day: Vestibular System
Amy Schleunes | Mar 13, 2020
The inner ear cavity proves to be a useful tool for studying the evolutionary relationships among monkeys, apes, and humans.
Image of the Day: Big Body, Little Brain
Amy Schleunes | Feb 20, 2020
An extinct rodent relative of the capybara appears to have had a smaller brain-to-body ratio than similar species.
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.
A. anamensis Hominin Skull Could Recast Our Human Family Tree
Ashley Yeager | Aug 28, 2019
Researchers say the skull belongs to an Australopithecus species once thought to be a predecessor to “Lucy,” but now that relationship is murky.
Brain’s Fluid Drains via Lymphatic Vessels at the Base of the Skull
Abby Olena | Jul 24, 2019
Detailed imaging of the rodent central nervous system reveals new information about the route cerebrospinal fluid takes to leave the brain.
paleolithic skull fossilized man injuries head wounds murdered violence ancient
Image of the Day: Murder Mystery
Chia-Yi Hou | Jul 5, 2019
Head wounds in the fossilized skull of a Paleolithic man suggest foul play.
beluga narwhal hybrid cetacean narluga naluga skull DNA genetic analysis
Image of the Day: Hybrid Cetacean
Chia-Yi Hou | Jun 21, 2019
The DNA of a whale shows its father was a beluga and its mother was a narwhal.
Ancient DNA Maps Early American Migrations in New Detail
Ashley Yeager | Nov 8, 2018
Genetic information from dozens of individuals living 700 to 10,000 years ago reveals connections between Clovis and Native Americans and South Americans.
Cranial Craters, 1000-1250
Sukanya Charuchandra | Nov 1, 2018
Prehistoric Andeans seemed especially fond of trepanation—holes drilled in the skull as a treatment for various ills.
Why Are Modern Humans Relatively Browless?
Jim Daley | Jul 1, 2018
The function of early hominins’ enlarged brow ridges, and their reduction in size in Homo sapiens, have puzzled paleoanthropologists for decades.
Image of the Day: Ice Age HorseĀ 
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Nov 29, 2017
Scientists have identified a new genus of extinct horse that lived in North America during the last ice age.