Human Nature 2018

December 2018

72-Year-Old Frenchman Attempts Floating from Canary Islands to Caribbean in Big Orange Barrel — See Photos & Videos (CBS News, 12/27/18).

33-Year-Old American Becomes First to Cross Antarctica Alone without Help — See Photos & Map (The New York Times, 12/26/18).

Study: DNA Matching Could Speed Return of Ancestral Remains Held in Museums to Indigenous Communities — See Photo (Science, 12/19/18). Read more, see more photos here.

Archeologists Discover Undisturbed Egyptian Tomb Near Cairo — See Photos & Videos (The Washington Post, 12/16/18).

Theory: Neanderthal DNA in Modern Humans May Influence Brain Development, Shape of Skull — See Illo (Science, 12/14/18).

Essay: Indigenous Solstice Ceremonies, Celebrations Reflect Understanding of Heavens, Interconnectedness of All Life — See Photos & Video (The Conversation, 12/13/18).

Researchers Try to Identify, Address Causes of Infant Stunting in Papua New Guinea — See Photos (COSMOS, 12/10/18).

Study: Antarctic Researchers Enter State of Mental Hibernation to Survive Months of Cold, Dark, Confinement (Science Alert, 12/8/18).

20-Year Excavation in South African Cave Yields Near-Complete Skeleton of New Hominid Species, Among First to Walk Upright — See Photos (Nature, 12/7/18). Read more, see more photos and video here and here.

• Only Female Sailor in Solo, Nonstop Round-the-World Race Hits Boat-Destroying Storm in Southern Ocean — See Photos, Map & Video (The Washington Post, 12/6/18). Read more, see more photos here.

DNA Analysis of Teeth from Woman Buried 4,900 Years Ago in Sweden Suggest Plague Ravaged Europe Long Before Scourge Known as Black Death — See Photo (The Atlantic, 12/6/18).

• Scientists & Investor to Attempt Touchdown at Deepest Point in All 5 Oceans — See Photos, Maps & Video (Digital Trends, 12/5/18).

Finding: Asteroid Strike May be Source of Biblical Story of God Smiting Sodom with Fire & Brimstone — See Photo (Forbes, 12/4/18)

Scientists Now Think Neanderthals Could Laugh…But Did They? (HowStuffWorks, 12/5/18).

Researchers Revise Image of Scottish Bronze-Age Woman Based on New DNA Analysis — See Image (Smithsonian, 12/4/18). Read more, see more photos and video here.

All-Woman Team Launches Effort in Jordan to Assess Bullet Damage to Ancient Rock Art — See Photos (Nature, 12/3/18).

Finding: Science Curiosity is the Bridge Between Opposing Interpretations of Science Facts — See Charts (Scientific American, 12/3/18).

Why All the Missing Fingers in Cave Art Hand Stencils? Researchers Have Many Theories — See Photo (Science Alert, 12/3/18).

• Dolphins, Marine Life, Sea Birds Keep Dying as Florida Officials, Media Refuse to Grapple with Climate Change, Link to Red Tide — See Photos (The New York Times, 12/2/18).

November 2018

Cave painting discovered in Eastern Borneo / Luc-Henri Fage, Nature, NPR / Click for more.

Women Begin Infiltrating Once All-Male World of Fishing in Rwanda — See Photos & Videos (The New York Times, 11/30/18).

Artifacts Suggest Humans Arrived on Tibetan Plateau Much Earlier than Thought — See Photos (COSMOS, 11/30/18). Read more here.

Study: Infant’s Kicks, Jabs in Womb Trigger Early Brain Mapping — See Photo (Live Science, 11/30/18).

Study: Lying Creates False Memory, Seniors More Likely to Believe Own Lies are True (Futurity, 11/29/18).

• Meet the 96-Year-Old Man Mainly Responsible for Saving Bluebirds in SW Idaho — See Photos and Documentary (Audubon, 11/29/18).

Conservationists Worry Geotagging Photos Draws Crowds, Endangers Natural Sites — See Photos (The New York Times, 11/29/18).

Study: 2.4 Million-Year-Old Tools Found in Algeria Force Archeologists to Rethink Theory of Human Ancestors’ Origin, Spread — See Photos (The Conversation, 11/29/18). Read more, see more photos here and here.

2 Men Race Separately to be First to Cross Antarctic without Help — See Photos (The New York Times, 11/29/18). Read more here.

Study: Early Human Diet was More Sophisticated than Thought (COSMOS, 11/29/18). Read more, see photos here.

CDC: Increases in Drug Overdoses, Suicides Reduce Life Expectancy in U.S. (Medscape, 11/29/18). Read more, see photos, charts and video here. Read the CDC report here.

Study: Mitochondrial DNA, Thought to Come Only from Mothers, Can Come from Father’s, Too (Gizmodo, 11/28/18). Read more, see photos, illos and animated video here and here.

Group Claims to Have Found Atlantis on Southwest Coast of Spain — See Photo & Illo (Live Science, 11/28/18).

Polluting Lakes with Agricultural Runoff Not a New Thing — Ancient Romans in Switzerland Did It Too — See Photos & Map (EOS, 11/28/18).

Meet the Woman who Captures Rainforest Creatures…in Watercolor — See Paintings (Earther, 11/27/18).

Reanalysis of Early Cave Art Reveals Early Humans Understood Night Skies, Marked Events Like Comet Strikes — See Photos (Phys.Org, 11/27/18). Read more, see more photos here.

On Small Island Off N. Australia, 500 People Speak 9 Languages & Everyone Understands Everyone Else — See Photos & Drawings (The Atlantic, 11/26/18).

Chinese Researcher Announces Birth of First Gene-Edited Babies, Twin Girls — See Photo & Video (STAT, 11/26/18). Read more, see more photos and video here, here, here, here, here and here.

Study: Humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans All Mixed and Mated Multiple Times (COSMOS, 11/27/18). Read more here.

New Excavation in Pompeii Uncovers Preserved Fresco of Leda & Swan — See Photo (The New York Times, 11/25/18). See video here.

Missionary Hoping to Convert Isolated Tribe on India’s North Sentinel Island Meets Death Instead — See Photos & Map (CNN, 11/22/18). Read more, see more photos and video herehereherehere and here.

Study: Breathing through the Nose, Not Mouth, Triggers Neural Activity, Enhances Memory Formation (The New York Times, 11/20/18).

Food for Thought: Studies of Human Nature Almost All Based on People Who are WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic (The Conversation, 11/16/18).

Theory: All Things Vibrate, Vibration = Consciousness, Synchronized Vibrations Give Rise to Sophisticated Conscious States (The Conversation, 9/11/18).

Cave Paintings Found in Borneo Thousands of Years Older than Those in Europe — See Photos, Listen to Radio Segment (NPR, 11/7/18). Read more, see more photos here and here. Read the report, see more cave paintings here.

Report: Preserving, Displaying Heads of Enemies, Ancestors was Widespread Custom in Ancient World (The Washington Post, 11/7/18).

Ancient Mayans Had Vibrant, Complex Coastal Cities Now Being Swallowed by Resorts — See Photos, Illos & Maps (Hakai, 11/6/18).

Fossils Reveal Arabian Desert was Once Green, Hosted Large Herbivores, Humans Arrived Earlier than Thought — See Photos (The New York Times, 11/2/18).

Study: Thank Neanderthals for Passing Along HPV (COSMOS, 11/2/18).

Study: Neanderthals Stood Straight, Had Greater Lung Capacity than Modern Humans — See Video (Science Alert, 11/1/18).

October 2018

Tooth Enamel Yields Clues to Life, Hardships, Diet of Neanderthal Kids — See Photo, Diagrams & Video (Ars Technica, 11/31/18). Read more, see more photos, diagrams and video here.

Researchers Close In on How First Aboriginals Reached Australia More than 65,000 Years Ago — See Map & Video (COSMOS, 11/31/18).

Cooped Up in Antarctic Research Station, 1 Russian Scientist Stabs Another for Ruining Book Endings (New York Post, 10/30/18).

Study: The Amish Live Close to Nature, but That Doesn’t Make Them Environmentalists — See Photos (The Conversation, 11/29/18).

Researchers Think Circular Geoglyphs in Peru May Mark Rest Stops for Early Travelers — See Photos (Live Science, 10/26/18).

Discovery of Pre-Clovis Spearpoints in Texas Challenges Theories of When Humans Came to North America— See Photos (Gizmodo, 10/25/18). Read more here.

8-Year-Old Girl Plucks 1,500-Year-Old Sword from Bottom of Shallow Lake in Sweden — See Photos & Video (The Washington Post, 10/23/18).

Doctors in Shetland Islands among Growing Number Prescribing Time in Nature for What Ails You — See Photos & Video (EcoWatch, 11/22/18).

World’s Oldest Intact Shipwreck Found at Bottom of Black Sea — See Photos & Map (The Guardian, 10/22/18). Read more, see more photos and video here and here.

Study: Lifespan Stretches about 3 Years per Generation (COSMOS, 10/22/18).

Tip for Travelers: See Caracol, Largest Maya Site in Belize, Before Tourists Descend — See Photos & Video (National Geographic, 10/16/18).

Fingerbones of Neanderthal Girl Found in Poland Show She was Partly Eaten by Giant Bird — See Photo (CNN, 10/13/18).

Study: Average Human Recognizes about 5,000 Faces (Nature, 10/10/18).

Opinion: Culture, Knowledge, Understanding of Nature Lost when Indigenous Languages Die — See Photos (The Conversation, 10/5/18).

Study: Modern Human Resistance to Viruses Comes Partly from Neanderthal DNA — See Diagram (Phys.Org, 10/4/18). Read more, see photos here.

Nat Geo Film Documents Climber’s Free Solo Ascent of El Capitan — See Photos (The Washington Post, 10/1/18).

September 2018

Report: Last Uncontacted Tribes of Amazon Threatened by Logging, Mining, More — See Photos (National Geographic, 9/30/18).

Last Inca Stronghold Cleared in Peru, Revealing Mix of Inca, Older Wari Cultures — See Photos (The Guardian, 9/28/18).

Aerial Lidar Surveys of Jungle Covered Mayan Ruins Reveal Vast Cities, Elevated Roads, Extensive Agriculture — See Photos, Images & Video (EOS, 9/27/18). Read more, see more maps and photos here.

Study: Neanderthal Hands Adapted for Holding Clubs…and Painting, Making Jewelry — See Animated Video (Smithsonian, 9/27/18). Read more here.

Study: Narcissism, Sadism, Other Dark Human Traits Spring from Same Dark Core (Science Daily, 9/26/18).

Study: Humans Braved Interior of Australia’s Harsh Western Desert 10,000 Years Earlier than Thought — See Photo (Science, 6/26/18).

• Study: Discovery of Ancient Game Pieces Made of Whalebone Could Mark Rise of Whaling in Scandinavia — See Photo & Diagram (Hakai, 9/25/18).

Researchers Find More Intriguing Bone Fragments in Cave that Yielded Bone of Neanderthal-Denisovan Child — See Photos (Nature, 9/20/18).

Study Findings: Kids Weren’t Kids in Ancient Times — They Worked (Nature, 9/18/18).

American Woman Sets New Cycling Speed Record of 183.9 MPH — See Photo (The Washington Post, 9/18/18).

Researchers Come UP with 4 New Basic Personality Types (The Washington Post, 9/17/18). Read more, see video here.

Hunting Marks on Ancient Bird Bones Push Back Human Arrival on Madagascar from 4,000 to 10,500 Years Ago — See Photo & Illo (Futurity, 9/14/18).

Researcher Compares  Bit of Mayan History Recorded on Newly Discovered Carved Altar Stone to Game of Thrones — See Photos (Phys.Org, 9/14/18).

Study: People Are Often but Not Always Accurate Judges of Own Behavior (Live Science, 9/14/18).

Study: Ancient Mayans Trapped, Traded Big Cats, Other Animals for Status, Sacrifice, Pelts, Food — See Photo (Phys.Org, 9/12/18). Read more, see video here.

Finding: Ochre Lines on Small Stone Found in South African Cave are Oldest Drawings Made by Humans — See Photos (The New York Times, 9/12/18). Read more, see more photos here and here.

• Studies: Like Humans, Chimps & Bonobos Can Be Generous..and Selfish — See Photo   (The New York Times, 9/11/18).

Legendary Mountain/Ice Climber Jeff Lowe Dies at 67 — See Photos (The New York Times, 9/11/18).

Study: Residue in Pottery Pushes First Cheese-Making Back 4,000 Years to 7,200 Years Ago — See Photos (, 9/5/18). Read more here.

Researcher Says Study Shows Infants Can Tell Leaders from Bullies (EurekAlert, 9/3/18). Read more here.

Study: Babylonians Really Liked Their Beer — See Photos (COSMOS, 9/3/18).

A Writer’s Adventures in the World of Hyperpolyglots, aka People Who Speak Lots of Languages (The New Yorker, 9/3/18).

95-Year-Old British Vet Breaks Own Record from Previous Year as Oldest Male Scuba Diver —See Photos (NDTV, 9/2/18). Read more, see more photos and video here.

August 2018

Rosehip neuron (top), connecting pyramidal cell (bottom) / Tamas Lab, U of Szeged, NPR / Click for more.

Theory: Extended Cold Snaps Helped Wipe Out Neanderthals (Smithsonian, 8/29/18). Read more here.

Oral Traditions of Indigenous People Preserve, Pass Down Accurate Accounts of Ancient Geological Events (COSMOS, 8/292/18).

Researchers Identify New Type of Neuron in Human Brain — See Images, Listen to Radio Segment (NPR, 8/27/18). Read more, see more images here, here and here.

Members of Uncontacted Amazon Tribes Caught on Drone — See Video (CBS News, 8/24/18).

In Ubang, Nigeria, Males & Females of Same Village Speak Different Languages — See Photos & Video (BBC News, 8/23/18).

Analysis: Early Australians Made Sophisticated Observations of Night Skies (COSMOS, 8/23/18).

Study: Bone Fragment Found in Remote Cave is First Physical Proof that Neanderthals, Denisovans Mated, Had Children — See Photos & Video (BBC News, 8/22/18). Read more, see more photos and video here and here. Listen to a radio segment here.

Study: Beads, Pendants, Earrings Found in Ancient Kenyan Burial Site Suggest Early Pastoralists Had Egalitarian Culture — See Photos (Futurity, 8/23/18).

Study: Stone-Tool Analysis Helps Date when Humans Developed Strong Grip — See Photo (, 8/20/18).

Expert Opinion: It’s Human to Love Bling — See Photos, Diagrams & Video (The Conversation, 8/19/18).

Quick to See Faces, Animals in Clouds? Chalk It Up to Keen Sense of Pariedolia — See Photos (EarthSky, 8/19/18).

Study: Egyptians Were Mummifying Bodies Long Before Age of Pharaohs — See Photo (COSMOS, 8/16/18).

Study: Composition of Tools Used to Carve Easter Island Moai Suggest Cooperative, Not Competitive Culture — See Photos (COSMOS, 8/14/18).

July 2018

Study: Early Native Americans Used Fire to Hunt Bison — But Not the Way You Might Think (Futurity, 7/26/18).

Studies: Early People Were Farming in Amazon Region Much Earlier than Thought (COSMOS, 7/26/18).

Oregon Woman Finds Wild Cougar in House, Claims Cat-Like Blinking, Mental Communication Got It to Leave (New York City Patch, 7/25/18).

Study: Sexism in Ancient Times Detected in Tools, Jewelry Found in Graves — See Photo  & Chart (Quartz, 7/24/18).

Archeologists Pretty Sure They’ve Found Skeleton of Key Member of Early Jamestown Settlement — See Photos & Videos (The Washington Post, 7/24/18).

Brazilian Government Releases Film Footage of Lone Survivor of Isolated Tribe — See Video (The New York Times, 7/20/18).

Early Humans Walking Along Shorelines Leave Footprints in Sands of Time — See Photos (Hakai, 7/18/18).

Study: Ancient Roman Whaling May Wiped Out Grays, Rights in Mediterranean Sea — See Maps & Photos (The New York Times, 7/16/18).

Hunter-Gatherers Left Pieces of World’s Oldest-Known Bread in Jordan — See Photos (The Washington Post, 7/16/18). Read more, see more photos here and here.

Study: Ötzi, the 53,00-Year-Old Iceman, Ate Grains and Meat — See Photo & Video (National Geographic, 7/12/18). Read more, see more photos here.

Study: Stone Tools Found in China Suggest Human Ancestors Left Africa Earlier than Thought — See Photo & Map (Nature, 7/11/18). Read more, see more photos here and here.

Study: Findings Suggest Early Pre-Humans Arose All Across Africa around Same Time — See Photos (The Guardian, 7/11/18).

Archeologists Piece Together Life Stories of 4 Rare, Intact Skeletons at Stonehenge (COSMOS, 7/10/18).

Huge, Unopened Sarcophagus, Carved Head of Man, Found in Egyptian Tomb — See Photos (Live Science, 7/10/18).

Drought-Stricken Landscape Reveals Crop Marks of Ancient Settlements in Wales — See Photos (BBC News, 7/7/18).

Discovery of Oldest Human Remains in Australia Inspire Collaboration Between Scientists, Aborigines — See Photos (COSMOS, 7/5/18). Read more here.

Study: Feasting Helped Promote Cooperation, Civilization in Early Cultures — See Photos & Illo (The Conversation, 7/3/18).

Study: High Testosterone in Men Drives Preference for Luxury Goods (EurekAlert, 7/3/18).


May 2018

Scientists Believe Neanderthal Engravings on Small Piece of Flint Meant Something…But What? — See Photos (COSMOS, 5/3/18).

April 2018

Study Finds Friends Have Similar Brain Wave Responses to Video Clips (The New York Times, 4/16/18).

Exquisite Mosaics, Possibly by African Artisans, Draw Visitors to World Heritage Site Villa in Sicily — See Video (National Geographic, 4/14/18).

Modern Mexicans Carry Lost History of Early Immigrant Groups in Genes (Science, 4/13/18).

• Opinion: Saving Wildlife Helps Humans, Too — See Photos (The New York Times, 4/7/18).

Efforts to Assess Damage to Peru’s Nazca Lines Lead to Discovery of More, Older Drawings— See Photos, Diagrams and Video (National Geographic, 4/5/18).

Finding: Neanderthals Cared for Their Own, Buried Their Dead — See Photos (The Conversation, 4/5/18).

Study: Neanderthals’ Big Noses Served a Purpose — See Photos (COSMOS, 4/5/18).

• BBC Admits Scenes in Documentary on Papua New Guinea Tribe, Other Nature Programs, were Staged — See Footage (The Guardian, 4/4/18). Read more, see more video here.

Theory: Vikings Used Crystals to Navigate when Sun was Concealed (The Washington Post, 4/4/18).

Mummy Mystery: Whose Head Is It, Anyway? — See Photos (The New York Times, 4/2/18).

March 2018

Photo & enhanced version of 1 of 29 human footprints dating back to last Ice Age found along BC coast / Duncan McClaren, Gizmodo / Click for more.

Humans Don’t Have  5 Senses, They Have 10 — See Photos (COSMOS, 1/31/18).

• Study: Ancient Egyptians’ Efforts to Prepare for Drought Offer Climate Change Lessons for Modern Societies (The New York Times, 3/30/18).

Researchers Find Human Footprints from Ice Age on British Columbia Shore — See Photos & Diagram (Gizmodo, 3/28/18). Read more, see more photos, maps and video here, here, here and here. Read the study here.

Wales Professor ID’s Rare Partial Image of Mysterious Female Pharaoh on Fragments of Carvings Pulled from Storage — See Photo (COSMOS, 3/27/18).

Researchers Find Remains of Ancient Villages in New Part of Amazon, More Evidence of Dense Population before Europeans Arrived — See Photos (New Scientist, 3/27/18). Read more, see more photos here.

• Study: Very Tiny Mummified Skeleton Not Alien — Human with Unique Disorder — See Photo (The New York Times, 3/22/18).

• Meet the (Older) Man who Crossed the Ocean in a Kayak…3 Times — See Photos & Maps (The New York Times, 3/22/18).

• NINYF*: 2 Men Almost Die in Iditarod — See Photos (The Washington Post, 3/20/18).

• Early Humans Met, Mated with Mysterious Denisovans in 2 Separate Waves — See Illo (COSMOS, 3/16/18). Read more, see more illos and video here.

* Nature is not your friend.

February 2018

• Researchers Astonished by Evidence that Neanderthals Created Art — See Photo (Science, 2/23/18). Read more, see more photos here and here. See video report here.

• Study: Some Modern Caribbean People May Carry Ancient, pre-Contact Taino Genes (Science, 2/23/18).

• Ancient Tools Discovered in Tuscany Add to Evidence that Neanderthals Used Fire — See Photo (COSMOS, 2/6/18).

 Ancient Tools Discovered in India Indicate Humans Left Africa Earlier than Thought — See Photos (The Conversation, 2/1/18). Read more, see more photos here, here and here.

January 2018

Age of Jawbone Fossil Found in Israel Pushes Back Date Humans Left Africa by 50,000 Years — See Photos & Video (The Conversation, 1/25/18).

Study: Salmonella Strong Candidate for Killing Millions of Aztecs in 1545 (Daily Kos, 1/15/18).

Baby Buried in Alaska 11,500 Years Ago Belonged to Lost Branch of Ancient Native Americans — See Photos (The Verge, 1/3/18). Read more here.