Funky Smells, Strange Sounds, and Weird Sights: Evolutionary Explanations About Our Senses

The world looked very different for early humans, and their daily life was vastly different from that of people living in the 21st century. Our five senses, once crucial to our survival, are easy to take for granted. For most modern humans, food is easily accessed, and we spend the bulk of our time indoors, […]

Evolution: that famous “march of progress” image is just wrong

Jordi Paps, University of Bristol and Cristina Guijarro-Clarke, University of Essex Evolution explains how all living beings, including us, came to be. It would be easy to assume evolution works by continuously adding features to organisms, constantly increasing their complexity. Some fish evolved legs and walked onto the land. Some dinosaurs evolved wings and began […]

Were other humans the first victims of the sixth mass extinction?

Nick Longrich, University of Bath Nine human species walked the Earth 300,000 years ago. Now there is just one. The Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis, were stocky hunters adapted to Europe’s cold steppes. The related Denisovans inhabited Asia, while the more primitive Homo erectus lived in Indonesia, and Homo rhodesiensis in central Africa. Several short, small-brained species […]

Top 10 most extreme places where life can be found on earth

The Earth is the only planet we know of that can support life in the cold, vast space. It seems we’re so, so lucky because our planet has a lot of unique characteristics that made life possible on it. But, interestingly, it also seems “where life can evolve, it will”. The diversity in life our […]

Humanity’s birthplace: why everyone alive today can call northern Botswana home

Vanessa Hayes, University of Sydney Where was the evolutionary birthplace of modern humans? The East African Great Rift Valley has long been the favoured contender – until today. Our new research has used DNA to trace humanity’s earliest footsteps to a prehistoric wetland called Makgadikgadi-Okavango, south of the Great Zambezi River. Our analysis, published in […]

Evolution tells us we might be the only intelligent life in the universe

Nick Longrich, University of Bath Are we alone in the universe? It comes down to whether intelligence is a probable outcome of natural selection or an improbable fluke. By definition, probable events occur frequently, improbable events occur rarely – or once. Our evolutionary history shows that many key adaptations – not just intelligence, but complex […]

The end of the world: a history of how a silent cosmos led humans to fear the worst

Thomas Moynihan, University of Oxford It is 1950 and a group of scientists are walking to lunch against the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. They are about to have a conversation that will become a scientific legend. The scientists are at the Los Alamos Ranch School, the site for the Manhattan Project, where each […]

Humans walking on two legs because of exploding stars, new study says

Walking on two legs is an evolutionary leap that led humans to conquer the world. But, why humans are walking on two legs? It’s still unclear. Now, according to a new study published on the University of Chicago’s Journal of Geology, the reason might be exploding stars a few million years ago.

8 Things that make Life on Earth Possible

Earth, our blue planet is a tiny oasis in the vast, cold, and dark space. It is the only planet we know of that can support life. The fossil record tells us that life on Earth has lasted at least 3.5 billion years (the Earth is about 4.54 billion years old), with the oldest physical […]