Tag Archives: Neanderthal

The lonely walk to extinction

Our very species is an oxymoron. When Linnaeus added us to the taxonomic ranks of life, he dubbed humans Homo sapiens: literally meaning ‘wise man’. Sometimes I wonder how ‘wise’ we are. We can send people to live in space, … Continue reading

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A very brief introduction to mammoths

I was in Los Angeles when I first saw him. I stood in his shadow as he towered above me. I didn’t feel fear. Or panic. I felt awe despite being dwarfed. Light bounces off each bone, highlighting the curves, … Continue reading

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On the origins of our species

As families go ours is pretty amazing. You have ancient cousins who effortlessly chomped through the toughest of roots and hardest of seeds. Another relative was the first of our family to make it all the way to China around … Continue reading

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Big find in little China

Charles Darwin wrote 502 pages outlining his groundbreaking theory of evolution by natural selection. In it he provides incredible evidence of natural selection he gathered over 20 years, using many different species of animals, from humans breeding dogs to the … Continue reading

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Forever young

Being conscious of our own mortality has given our species an unhealthy fascination with immortality. Over the millennia we have conjured up stories of everlasting beings, some of which even allow us to follow them after we have died. This … Continue reading

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Neanderthals and us: we’re not so different

I cried the first time I saw a Neanderthal. I was 8 years old, sat cross-legged on the wooden floorboards, watching The Land That Time Forgot. Everything around me ceased to exist as I was transported to a world of … Continue reading

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Who were the Denisovans anyway?

Human evolution used to be the preserve of two groups of academics: the ones who liked fossils and the ones who liked stone tools. Both regarded the other as peculiar for being obsessed with the wrong part of a massive … Continue reading

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