20 articles
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    Digging for Our Origins in the Bone Beds of an African Park

    In their search for the last common ancestor of chimps and humans, scientists at Gorongosa National Park are expanding the picture of early primate life.
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    Portrait of the Human as a Young Hominin

    How the world looked when we were Australopithecus.
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    What Made Early Humans Smart

    Walking upright made our ancestors easy prey. It also made them get smart.
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    What Color Really Evolved For

    The finding that melanosomes are so common inside animals’ bodies may overhaul our very understanding of the function of melanin, the pigment responsible for color in feathers and other external features.Photograph by Aline Dassel / Pixabay What color were the dinosaurs? If you have a picture in your head, fresh studies suggest you may need […]
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    Redefining Dinosaurs: Paleontologists are Shaking the Dinosaur Family Tree to its Roots.

    A radical reconfiguration of the long-standing dinosaur family tree challenges an orthodoxy built on roughly a century and a half of research.
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    Why We Love Dinosaurs

    If museums of natural history are temples to science, dinosaurs are their shrines.
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    World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks

    Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog.In August 2016, a research team claimed to have unearthed evidence of life in a remote outcrop of 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland. This bold claim not only pushed back the origin of life by at least 220 million years, it also added to a growing body of evidence that challenged the standard story of […]
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    Dr. Kirk Johnson

    Sant Director, National Museum of Natural History
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    How We Learned That Neanderthals Bird-Hunted in Winter

    A stocky male figure walks along a beach in what is now Gibraltar, on the southwestern tip of Europe, his pronounced brow shading his eyes. Pigeons watch over him on the cliffs overlooking the plain. Ducks float in the ocean off in the distance, and crows weave in and out of smoke from fires in […]
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    Paving Over the Fossil Record

    Why isn’t India doing more to protect its rare evolutionary record?