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Human ancestors used toothpicks

New evidence suggests that humans were using toothpicks 1.8 million years ago. "Progressive tooth wear triggers bone remodelling processes that substantially modify the shape of the jaw during an individual's lifetime. These effects are typically underestimated when attributing fossil hominid jaws to different species," she told BBC News. "The individual who was

Most modern Europeans shared common ancestors

Genetic research suggests that all modern Europeans have common ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago. Whether they are a Serb and a Swiss, or a Finn and a Frenchman, any two Europeans are likely to have many common ancestors who lived around 1,000 years ago. A genomic survey of 2,257 people

All chickens descend from south east Asia

New DNA research has revealed that all chickens descend from a few common ancestors who lived in South East Asia. Project researcher Dr Alison Storey says chickens have been domesticated for at least 5400 years and it has been difficult to determine the ancient origin and dispersal of chickens because of

Pre-Aztec civilization made tools from freshly dead relatives

A pre-Aztec civilization used human bones to make various tools and utensils. The discovery comes from a new analysis of 5,000 bone fragments found in the ancient city of Teotihuacan, a large archaeological site about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Mexico City (see map). Femurs (thigh bones), tibias (shinbones),

A new species of Australopithecus found

A 2-million-year-old new species of Australopithecus has been found in South Africa. Found in the remnants of an underground cave network in South Africa, the partial Australopithecus sediba skeletons are believed to be from a roughly 30-year-old woman and an 8- to 13-year-old boy. The pre-human pair, who may or

Ancient dinosaur relative found

A dinosaur-like creature has been found which is 10 million years older than the earliest known dinosaurs. [Thx Tron] Asilisaurus kongwe is a newly discovered herbivore that lived during the middle Triassic period - about 245 million years ago. The scientists say that its age suggests that dinosaurs were

Most British men descended from ancient farmers

Apparently the first farmers to arrive in Britain outbred the native hunter-gatherers. Most men in Britain are descended from the first farmers to migrate across Europe from the Near East 10,000 years ago, scientists say. Ancient farmers left their genetic mark on modern males by breeding more successfully than indigenous hunter-gatherer men

Zapotec men brandished human femurs

Ancestral thighbones may have been carried around as status symbols by Zapotec men. "The thought was that the femurs are those of the ancestors of the rulers, serving like staffs of office or symbols of legitimacy," explained archaeologist Gary Feinman of the Field Museum in Chicago. Now grave excavations have confirmed the