Genetic analysis has revealed that the ancestors of modern humans interbred with at least five different archaic human groups as they moved out of Africa and across Eurasia.
New research brings to light for the first time the evolution of maternal roles and parenting responsibilities in one of our oldest evolutionary ancestors. Australopithecus africanus mothers breastfed their infants for the first 12 months after birth, and continued to supplement their diets with breastmilk during periods of food shortage. Tooth chemistry analyses enable scientists to 'read' more than two-million-year-old teeth. Finding demonstrates why early human ancestors had fewer offspring and extended parenting role.
Researchers from the National Museums of Kenya, University of Arkansas, University of Missouri and Duke University have announced the discovery of a tiny monkey that lived in Kenya 4.2 million years ago.
For the first time, the bivalve mollusc Guyanella clenchi has been reported from Abrolhos Bank, Brazil. This small and almost unknown bivalve had previously been reported solely from the Caribbean region. Apart from being the southernmost record for the species, its presence also helps the experts to determine the way the marine fauna from the Caribbean interacts with its South American relatives. The study is published in the open-access journal Check List.
Infants of the extinct human species Australopithecus africanus likely breast fed for up to a year after birth, similar to modern humans but of shorter duration than modern day great apes, according to an analysis of fossil teeth funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. The findings provide insight into how breast feeding evolved among humans and may inform strategies to improve modern breast-feeding practices.
Mount Sinai researchers working as part of an international team have discovered previously unknown breastfeeding patterns of an extinct early human species by studying their 2-million-year-old teeth, providing insights into the evolution of human breastfeeding practices, according to a study published in Nature in July.
The killing of rivals' offspring represents a violent manifestation of competition, and a significant source of offspring mortality in some mammalian populations. Previous research on such infanticide has focused on males, but a new study by Dieter Lukas from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Elise Huchard from the Institut des Sciences de l'Évolution, Université Montpellier shows that infanticide by females is also widespread across mammals and that females are likely to gain substantial benefits from it.
Auroraceratops, a bipedal dinosaur that lived roughly 115 million years ago, has been newly described by an international team of researchers led by paleontologist Peter Dodson of the University of Pennsylvania and former student Eric Morschhauser, now of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. More than 80 individuals of this species have been found in China's Gansu Province.
A new study finds that degraded rainforest habitats are impacting the health of at least one species of Madagascar's treasured lemurs. Researchers captured, measured and released 113 critically endangered diademed sifakas -- and then compared the health of the animals living in intact continuous rainforest versus those in fragmented habitats. In the two most degraded of all fragmented habitats, there were key differences -- adults were skinnier, and the growth of immatures was delayed.
This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers led by Clement Coiffard, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. The team reported in Nature Plants on the oldest completely preserved lily, Cratolirion bognerianum, which was discovered in present-day Brazil. With 3D computer tomography at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, hidden details of the fossilized plant could also be analyzed. The results raise new questions about the role of the tropics in the development of past and present ecosystems.