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Primates’ Understanding of Quantities Offers Clues to the Origins of Human Counting

Monkey see, monkey count—almost. New research from the University of Rochester shows that while monkeys don’t have words or symbols for numbers like we do, they do understand the basic logic behind counting—and that can show us how humans first learned to count.

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Ancient DNA May Provide Clues into How Past Environments Affected Ancient Populations

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A new study by anthropologists from The University of Texas at Austin shows for the first time that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains, which may lead to further understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.

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Lethal Wounds on Skull May Indicate 430,000 Year-Old Murder

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Research into lethal wounds found on a human skull may indicate one of the first cases of murder in human history—some 430,000 years ago—and offers evidence of the earliest funerary practices in the archaeological record.

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Trending Stories Report for 21 May 2015

Trending news releases with the most views in a single day. Topics include: gun regulation, psychology and altruism, big data, threats to coral reefs, extra-terrestrial life, personalized diets, metabolic syndrome and heart health, new drug target to treat arthritis, and archeologists find oldest tools.

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The Neanderthal Dawn Chorus

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Research by Bournemouth University's John Stewart has found that birds living during the Ice Age were larger, with a mixture of birds unlike any seen today, and many species now exotic to Britain living in Northern England.

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Stony Brook Archaeologists Find the Earliest Evidence of Stone Tool Making

Our ancestors were making stone tools some 700,000 years earlier than we thought. That’s the finding co-led by Stony Brook University's Drs. Sonia Harmand and Jason Lewis—who have found the earliest stone artifacts, dating 3.3 million years ago.

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Agriculture, Declining Mobility Drove Humans' Shift to Lighter Bones

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Modern lifestyles have made our bones lighter weight than our hunter-gatherer ancestors. A study of the bones of hundreds of humans who lived during the past 33,000 years in Europe finds the rise of agriculture and a corresponding fall in mobility drove the change, rather than urbanization, nutrition or other factors.

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Ancient Skeleton Shows Leprosy May Have Spread to Britain From Scandinavia

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An international team, including archaeologists from the University of Southampton, has found evidence suggesting leprosy may have spread to Britain from Scandinavia. The team, led by the University of Leiden examined a 1500 year old male skeleton, excavated at Great Chesterford in Essex, England during the 1950s.

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When Do Mothers Need Others?

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Karen Kramer, an associate professor of anthropology, published a study in the Journal of Human Evolution titled, “When Mothers Need Others: Life History Transitions Associated with the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding.” Her research examines how mothers underwent a remarkable transition from the past – when they had one dependent offspring at a time, ended support of their young at weaning and received no help from others – to the present, when mothers often have multiple kids who help rear other children.

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Researchers Unearthing Slave Artifacts in South Carolina

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Assistant professor Sharon Moses is unearthing artifacts under former slave quarters. Her research is filling in historical gaps of slaves, including black Indians.