Climate study suggests that a combination of drought and human presence contributed to the extinction of island species like the Elephant Bird and the Dodo.
John HawksSeeing this: "Drought And Humans Drove The Elephant Bird And The Dodo Extinct".
The problem with the idea that drought was a coequal player in these extinctions is the implication that without drought, the extinct species would still be here today.
Many species are structured in social groups (SGs) where individuals exhibit complex mating strategies. Yet, most population genetic studies ignore SGs either treating them as small random-mating units or focusing on a higher hierarchical level (the...
John HawksA lot written about "inbreeding" within Neandertal populations in the last couple of years. New paper on sifaka social structure generates cool finding: local groups avoid inbreeding--actually outbred--even when regional populations are inbred. nature.com/articles/s4143…pic.twitter.com/p8Ygf1u7lO
The Youngest Toba Tuff (YTT) eruption, which occurred in Indonesia 74,000 years ago, is one of Earth's largest known volcanic events. The effect of the YTT eruption on existing populations of humans, and accordingly on the course of human evolution,...
No endemic Madagascar animal with body mass >10 kg survived a relatively recent wave of extinction on the island. From morphological and isotopic analyses of skeletal "subfossil" remains we can reconstruct some of the biology and behavioral ecology...
John HawksAshley Montagu (1963) on Carleton Coon: "Coon regrets that
'dead men can take no intelligence tests.' I, on the other hand feel relieved that intelligence tests have not been added to the other terrors of death."
A wild adult male pigtailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) visits an orangutan feeding station at the orangutan tourist site of Sepilok in Sabah, Malaysia. This site was closed due to the Covid‐19 pande...
Ontogenetic studies provide clues for understanding important paleobiological aspects of extinct species. When compared to that of modern humans, the adult Neanderthal thorax was shorter, deeper, and wider. This is related to the wide Neanderthal...
A 40-foot-long dinosaur fossil named Stan was the headliner at an auction of Impressionist and Modern art worth more than $300 million.
John HawksFor $31.8 million spent on this dinosaur skeleton at auction, a donor could double the funded field projects in paleoanthropology worldwide for several years. If anybody's looking for a *real* legacy, there are better ways.
John HawksAhern et al. 2004 provided some useful background on the excavation and numbering system at Vindija. Malez excavated in the 1970s and 1980s. A new numbering system was put into place during the late 1990s.
Analysis of mitochondrial DNA from four Neandertal fossils and five "modern human" contemporaries excludes any large genetic contribution of Neandertals to the gene pool of modern humans.
John HawksSmall fragments of mtDNA from two additional Vindija fossils were reported by Serre et al. 2004. In that paper, the two fossils were numbered Vi-77 and Vi-80. These numbers, and Vi-75, once inspired some confusion.
John HawksKrings et al. 2000 doi.org/10.1038/79855 reported a partial mtDNA sequence from Vi-75, one of the G3 Vindija specimens. This is a fragment that Malez and Ullrich 1982 identified as a metatarsal fragment. I cannot find a photo of this third Neandertal to yield DNA data. pic.twitter.com/aQeyUt1ra0
Advances in direct radiocarbon dating of Neanderthal and anatomically modern human (AMH) fossils and the development of archaeostratigraphic chronologies now allow refined regional models for Neanderthal–AMH coexistence. In addition, they allow us...
John HawksI haven't been able to find a scientific description or photos of Mezmaiskaya 2. It has been mentioned in the context of dating at the site, including a direct C14 AMS date (uncalibrated 39,700 ± 1,100 14C BP) reported in 2011 by Pinhasi et al.
From birth to adulthood, the human brain expands by a factor of 3.3, compared with 2.5 in chimpanzees [DeSilva J and Lesnik J (2006) Chimpanzee neonatal brain size: Implications for brain growth in Homo erectus. J Hum Evol 51: 207–212]. How the...