Earliest modern humans in Southern China recast history of early human migration

The hominin record from southern Asia for the early Late Pleistocene epoch is scarce. Well-dated and well-preserved fossils older than 45,000 years that can be unequivocally attributed to Homo sapiens are lacking. In a paper published October 15 online in Nature, Dr. LIU Wu, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his international team announced the discovery of human teeth between 80,000 and 120,000 years old from the newly excavated Fuyan Cave in Daoxian, southern China, and provided the earliest evidence of fully modern humans outside Africa. This discovery indicated that Homo sapiens trekked into Asia far earlier than previously known and much earlier than into Europe, providing important evidence for the study of dispersal routes of modern humans. —> Read More

Fossil vertebrae reveal clues to evolution of long neck in giraffe

(Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with the New York Institute of Technology has pieced together the neck of the now extinct giraffe-like creature Samotherium major and in so doing has found some clues that help explain how giraffes evolved to have such long necks. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science, Melinda Danowitz, Rebecca Domalski and Nikos Solounias describe how they managed to assemble a single neck vertebrae from bones left behind by several specimens and what they learned by comparing the fossils to the skeletal structure of modern relatives. —> Read More

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