Green in tooth and claw

Green in tooth and claw

Hard plant foods like seeds and nuts may have made up a larger part of early human ancestors’ diet than currently presumed, according to a new experimental study of modern tooth enamel from anthropologists in Arts & Sciences.
Chimpanzees more likely to share tools, teach skills when task is complex

Chimpanzees more likely to share tools, teach skills when task is complex

New Arts & Sciences research finds that chimpanzees that use a multi-step process and complex tools to gather termites are more likely to share tools with novices. The study helps illuminate chimpanzees’ capacity for prosocial — or helping — behavior, a quality that has been recognized for its potential role in the evolution of human cultural abilities.
‘Lost crops’ could have fed as many as maize

‘Lost crops’ could have fed as many as maize

For thousands of years, goosefoot and knotweed were grown as crops, possibly feeding as many indigenous people of North America as corn. But the domesticated forms of these lost crops became lost over the years, and now a Washington University in St. Louis archaeologist is trying to figure out why — and recreate them.
WashU Expert: Political chaos in Bolivia is a ‘coup’

WashU Expert: Political chaos in Bolivia is a ‘coup’

In Bolivia, a tangled election mess seems to have reaffirmed the popularity of leader Evo Morales. A Washington University in St. Louis faculty member says the country has propped up a new leader in what amounts to a military coup.
What we’re learning from a study of ancient DNA

What we’re learning from a study of ancient DNA

Ethically sourced and informed by archaeology, an ambitious new study reports genome-wide DNA information from 523 ancient humans collected at archaeological sites across the Near East and Central and South Asia. Washington University in St. Louis brought key partners together to generate the world’s largest study of ancient DNA, published this week in the journal Science.
Time to retire the ‘pristine myth’ of climate change

Time to retire the ‘pristine myth’ of climate change

Anthropologist T.R. Kidder in Arts & Sciences contributed to one of the first “big data” studies in archaeology to tackle broader questions of how humans have reshaped landscapes, ecosystems and potentially climate over millennia. The analysis published Aug. 30 in the journal Science challenges conventional ideas that man’s impact has been “mostly recent.”
Sometimes you feel like a nut

Sometimes you feel like a nut

A long-term study of western gorillas in Gabon has revealed an unexpected behavior: they use their teeth to crack open and eat nuts. New research by Adam van Casteren, lecturer in biological anthropology in Arts & Sciences, may have important implications for the way researchers predict the diet of human ancestors based on the shape of their teeth.
Long live the long-limbed African chicken

Long live the long-limbed African chicken

A new study reveals much about the history of African poultry development, according to Helina S. Woldekiros, assistant professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences. But a 3,000-year-old local breed type is threatened by the introduction of commercial cluckers.
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