Cooking Fueled the Growth of the Human Brain

eating-gorilla

A new study has calculated the energetic cost of growing a bigger brain. If humans had been eating a raw food diet exclusively, they would have had to spend more than 9 hours a day eating in order to get enough energy from unprocessed raw food alone to support their large brains.

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Scientists Agree that Classifying Humans as Monogamous or Polygamous is Difficult

primates-monogamy
Photo by Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images.

Computer simulations have been used to examine the sex lives of ancient hominids for many years, by measuring the circumferences of ancient bones, and by applying the rules of evolution and economics.

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Females Distinguish Colors Better While Men Excel At Tracking Fast Moving Objects

hunter-gatherer

After having put young adults with normal vision through a battery of tests, scientists were able to conclude that females are better at discriminating among colors, while males excel at tracking fast-moving objects and discerning detail from a distance. These evolutionary adaptations might be linked to the hunter-gatherer past of humans.

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Iceman Ötzi’s DNA Reveals Health Risks and Relations

iceman-glacier

Ötzi’s DNA has finally been sequenced. An international team published the almost complete DNA of the Iceman Ötzi from the Tyrolean Alps in the journal Nature Communications.

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Virus Gene Syncytin Insinuated Itself in Mammalian DNA Millions of Years Ago

da-vinci-fetus

Syncytin is a gene that was found in the human genome, but is bears all of the hallmarks of originating from a virus. Back in 2000, a team of Bostonian scientists discovered it. The cells of syncytin were located only where the placenta made contact with the uterus. They fused together to form a single cellular layer, which is called the syncytiotrophoblast, essential for a fetus to draw nutrients from its mother.

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Caves of Nerja Contain Earliest Human Drawings

caves-nerja-drawings

New dating tests have proven that the drawings from the Caves of Nerja, in Málaga, Spain, are the oldest paintings in the world made by humans. The represent seals and were painted more than 42,000 years ago.

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Bonobo Great Apes are Domesticating Themselves

bonobo-apes-hugs

While it’s expected that the animal kingdom is a fierce place, where aggression for survival dominates, a new study on bonobos (Pan paniscus) published in January 20th’s Animal Behaviour suggests that some animals outcompete others by becoming ‘nicer’.

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