Tag Archives | Human


Bonobo communication similar to that of human infants, suggests new study

Researchers from the University of Birmingham (UK) and the University of Neuchatel (Switzerland) have found that wild bonobos, our closest living relatives in the primate world, communicate using a high-pitched call type, or “peep,” that requires context to be understood. The findings, published in the journal PeerJ, echo the context dependent manner in which human […]

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Key element of human language discovered in Australian bird

Stringing together meaningless sounds to create meaningful signals was previously thought to be the preserve of humans alone, but a new study published in the journalPLOS Biology reveals that Australian babbler birds are also able to communicate in this way. Researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Zurich discovered that the chestnut-crowned babbler (pictured) – […]

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Male genetic diversity strangled by wealth and power

Genetic researchers have discovered an extremely dramatic decline in male genetic diversity between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago, while in contrast, female genetic diversity was on the rise. The work, by scientists from Arizona State University (ASU), the University of Cambridge, and the University of Tartu (Estonia), has been published in the journalGenome Research. It […]

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Did feminization create modern humans?

Duke University anthropologists have been measuring more than 1,400 ancient and modern skulls, leading them to theorize that modern humans emerged at the same time as a lowering of testosterone levels. While modern humans appear in the fossil record from around 200,000 years ago, it was only about 50,000 years ago that the creation of […]

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African music preferred by chimps

Chimpanzees like to listen to the different rhythms of music from Africa and India, but prefer silence to music from the West, according to new research in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. “We used cultural music from Africa, India and Japan to pinpoint specific acoustic properties,” said study co-author Frans de Waal, of Emory University. […]

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Singing primates and tweeting birds: Uncovering human language’s deep origins

By re-examining contemporary human language, MIT researchers believe they can uncover how human communication could have evolved from the systems underlying the older communication modes of birds and primates. “How did human language arise?” asks linguist Shigeru Miyagawa, a Professor of Japanese Language and Culture at MIT. “The best we can do is come up […]

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Human face evolved to be punched

A controversial new paper from the University of Utah contends that human faces have evolved over time to minimize injury from punches to the face during fights. The new theory, detailed in the journalBiological Reviews, presents an alternative view to the long-held hypothesis that the robustness of our faces resulted largely from the need to […]

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Hunting humans imitate honeybees

Working with the Hadza tribe in Africa, researchers have found that human hunter-gatherers follow the same mathematical pattern in their movements as sharks, honeybees, and many other animals. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study used GPS trackers to show that human hunters follow the classic exploration pattern defined by […]

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