(CNN)It’s easy to accept that the world is home to many species of dolphins, cats or bears — but the idea that we once roamed the planet with other human beings is more astonishing. We often dismiss our extinct cousins as brutish cave dwellers — and the word Neanderthal is thrown about as a dig at people who have outdated ways of thinking. Nice try, but not quite. We are learning Neanderthals were just as innovative and sophisticated as we fancy ourselves to be — raising questions about what it means to be human.It’s me, Katie Hunt, filling in for Ashley Strickland, in this edition of Wonder Theory.
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This is the public entrance to the Einhornhöhle cave, the Unicorn cave in English, in the Harz Mountains, Germany, where the tiny piece of engraved bone was found.A tiny, engraved bone is changing how we think about Neanderthals, the heavily built Stone Age hominins who disappeared about 40,000 years ago.Found in Einhornhöhle (or Unicorn) cave in northern Germany, the decorated deer phalanx, or toe bone, features a geometric pattern. Researchers have said it’s the most definitive evidence yet that Neanderthals were capable of artistic expression — a sign of what archaeologists call complex behavior,once thought unique to Homo sapiens. What’s less clear is how Homo neanderthalensis learned these skills. The possibility that Neanderthals were just as cognitively advanced as Homo sapiens also may have implicationsfor why they died out.
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, are Earth’s greatest light show, dazzling those lucky enough to see them in the northernmost reaches of our planet.It’s a phenomenon shared by other planets in our solar system, including the largest, Jupiter, which is bathed in spectacular color at its poles.Characterized by massive pulsating X-ray flares, Jupiter’s northern lights were first discovered 40 years ago. Astronomers have long sought to explain the mechanism behind these auroras.Now, an international team of scientists has announced they have solved what NASA has called “a powerful mystery.”
Fish exposed to methamphetamine were less active than those that had never been exposed to the illicit drug, researchers found.Plastic waste is a visible way humans contaminate rivers and oceans, but less noticeable forms of pollution can be just as perilous for aquatic life. More from Wonder Theory
Traces of illegal drugs –via sewage systems — can infiltrate waterways in urban areas. Researchers in the Czech Republic have investigated whether illicit drugs at levels found in bodies of freshwater alter fish behavior.In the study, the scientists found brown trout living in a tank of water containing methamphetamine for a period of eight weeks sought out water containing the drug — when given a choice — for four days after being transferred to meth-free water. This behavior suggested the fish were experiencing withdrawal because they sought out the drug when it became available, according to researchers.
Human fossils illustrate the variation in brain (skulls) and body size (thigh bones) during the Pleistocene period.Scientists have pored over more than 300 fossils belonging to different members of the Homo genus, or the human family tree — including us, Homo sapiens — and reconstructed the Earth’s climate to see what conditions were like when these different species of human lived. The researchers found that climate — particularly temperature — has been the main driver of changes in body size for the past million years. Colder, harsher climates were linked to larger bodies, such as those of well-built Homo neanderthalensis, while warmer climates were linked to smaller bodies, the scientists found.For now, the team said, it’s unlikely that the current, human-induced climate crisis will dramatically impact our body sizes.
When Vice President Kamala Harris arrives in Guatemala on Sunday for her first foreign trip in office, she’ll follow the same politically treacherous path President Joe Biden took when he was in the role. The mission: to help solve deep-seated problems driving tens of thousands of Central American people to try to seek asylum at […]
The meeting with PM Modi Was Satisfactory. PM assured cooperation & assistance to the state for development. He also assured me that I can contact him at any time regarding the issues of Tamil Nadu. Issues like withdrawal of 3 agricultural laws, scrapping of NEET & New Education Policy, early commencement of vaccine production of […]
The Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns face off in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals at 6 p.m. Arizona time on Monday. Will the Suns be able to close out the series and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in nearly three decades? Check out what the odds are saying […]