Posts tagged: Human evolution

New fossil finds of an ancient relative

Suppose there were two different species of humans alive at the same time? It happened more than once in the past.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-evidence-of-mysterious-homo-naledi-raises-questions-about-how-humans-evolved/

In a southern African cave called Rising Star, scientists have discovered many fossils of a species of human relative called Homo naledi. The skulls and skeletons of this extinct human relative are a strange mix of primitive features and more advanced ones. Many questions remain, and much research waits to be done, but the Rising Star fossils promise to tell us more about how our family tree evolved. One fascinating thing about Homo naledi is that the newly discovered fossils appear to be only about 300,000 years old. That’s a very short time in the history of our species! Homo naledi probably roamed the African plains at the same time, and in the same areas, as our own ancestors several hundred thousand years ago.

An interview about The Third Chimpanzee for Young People

Back in September I was featured in an interview on the website A Science Book a Day.  I talked about how I wrote the Young People’s version of Jared Diamond’s book The Third Chimpanzee, and about the challenges of taking someone else’s work and giving it a new form. I also had a chance to talk about another project of mine.

You can read the interview here.

 

 

 

New Project: A Jared Diamond Book

I’m happy to announce that I’ve been chosen to turn bestselling writer Jared Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee into a book for young people.

Diamond is the author of Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997), a book that explores the relationships among geography, biology, and history, and also of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), a book about why some societies are successful and long-lasting while others fall apart and disappear. The book I’m adapting for young readers, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, explores the many things that make humans unique–as well as their connections to the rest of the animal world. It’s a  subject that I think kids will find fascinating.

I’ve just gotten started on the writing, and already I’m enjoying it tremendously. I look forward to the time when the book will be finished and ready for readers.

The First Americans

When did humans first come to the Americas? Scientists have debated this question for years. I wrote about the debate in my 2010 book Modern Humans, part of a four-volume series on human evolution.

Experts used to think that the Americas were peopled starting about 13,000 years ago. That date has been pushed back in recent decades. The latest evidence, summarized in the Americas as early as 18,000 years ago–and they may have come even earlier than that.

The question of when people came to the Americas, and from where, has been a hot topic in scientific circles for a long time. With archaeologists digging for more traces of early humans, and genetic sresearchers casting new light on the ways world populations have merged and split over time, the debate is sure to continue.

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