New fossil discovery from Israel points to complicated evolutionary process

Analysis of recently discovered fossils found in Israel suggest that interactions between different human species were more complex than previously believed, according to a team of researchers including Binghamton University anthropology professor Rolf Quam.

New evidence in search for the mysterious Denisovans

An international group of researchers led by the University of Adelaide has conducted a comprehensive genetic analysis and found no evidence of interbreeding between modern humans and the ancient humans known from fossil records in Island Southeast Asia. They did find further DNA evidence of our mysterious ancient cousins, the Denisovans, which could mean there are major discoveries to come in the region.

Neandertals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech

Neandertals — the closest ancestor to modern humans — possessed the ability to perceive and produce human speech, according to a new study published by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers including Binghamton University anthropology professor Rolf Quam and graduate student Alex Velez.

Earliest interbreeding event between ancient human populations discovered

The study documented the earliest known interbreeding event between ancient human populations— a group known as the “super-archaics” in Eurasia interbred with a Neanderthal-Denisovan ancestor about 700,000 years ago. The event was between two populations more distantly related than any other recorded.

Why males pack a powerful punch

Elk have antlers. Rams have horns. In the animal kingdom, males develop specialized weapons for competition when winning a fight is critical. Humans do too, according to new research from the University of Utah. Males’ upper bodies are built for more powerful punches than females’, says the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, suggesting that fighting may have long been a part of our evolutionary history.