More human-Neandertal mixing evidence uncovered

Photo courtesy Muzeul Olteniei / Erik TrinkausThe early modern human cranium from the Pestera Muierii, Romania.A re-examination of ancient human bones from Romania reveals more evidence that humans and Neandertals interbred. Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues radiocarbon dated and analyzed the shapes of human bones from Romania’s Pestera Muierii (Cave of the Old Woman). The fossils, which were discovered in 1952, add to the small number of early modern human remains from Europe known to be more than 28,000 years old. More…

Scientists find fossil proof of Egypt’s ancient climate

David Kilper / WUSTL PhotoWUSTL researchers are trying to infer the Egyptian climate from the fossil evidence.Earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis are studying snail fossils to understand the climate of northern Africa 130,000 years ago. While that might sound a bit like relying on wooly bear caterpillars to predict the severity of winter, the snails actually reveal clues about the climate and environment of western Egypt, lo those many years ago. They also could shed light on the possible role weather and climate played in the dispersal of humans “out of Africa” and into Europe and Asia.