Anthropology / Everything Human

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh … and Hominins?

Evolution

  • Animalia

  • Animalia

    An artistic rendering of the construction of the earliest known hominin-made shelter, discovered at a 400,000-year-old site in Terra Amata, France.

    The Domesticated Hominin

    “I do not think any spectacle can be more interesting, than the first sight of Man in his primitive wildness.” —Charles Darwin, letter to J.S. Henslow, April 11, 1833 March 3 was World Wildlife Day, and that got me thinking: Are humans still “wild”? If not, when were human ancestors no longer “wildlife”? In other words, what event or transition in human evolutionary history marks the “domestication” of …

  • Animalia

    The 19th Century anatomist Jones Quain dissected the human testicle, as illustrated by this engraving.

    When Sperm Compete, Nature’s Call Leads to Bigger … Testicles

    [In humans, the testes] are from an inch and a half to two inches long, about an inch and a quarter from the anterior to the posterior border, and nearly an inch from side to side. The weight of each varies from three-quarters of an ounce to an ounce, and the left is often a little the larger of the two. —Quain’s Elements of Anatomy, 1867 Success in …

  • Human Nature

  • Animalia

    What Is an Animal?

    What is an animal? Take a moment to think about it. Without doubt your dog and cat are animals, as are the birds singing out your window. What about an earthworm? Or a flea? Certainly they are. Have you ever walked along the beach and spotted a jellyfish or picked up a sand dollar? They are also animals. What do all of these creatures have in common, and …

  • Origins

    Homo erectus: The Winnie-the-Pooh of Fossil Hominins?

    Did you hear about the Homo erectus who lost all but one of his teeth? He died long after the empty sockets healed, his jaw bones almost as smooth as a sea turtle’s. This intriguing specimen (a cranium and mandible with museum numbers D3444/D3900) hails from a site called Dmanisi, in the Republic of Georgia, and paleoanthropologists involved in its discovery noted that it raises some interesting questions …