Tag Archives | human evolution

Muscle Growth Sacrificed For Increased Brain Power In Human Evolution

Photo: Snowyowls (CC)

Photo: Snowyowls (CC)

A study suggests that human beings evolved toward the development of larger brains instead of muscles.

To gain insights into how the human brain evolved, scientists compared the metabolisms of humans and animals such as chimpanzees, mice and rhesus monkeys. They focused on how much energy each species devoted to the brain and body.

The researchers analyzed more than 10,000 compounds known as metabolites, which are small molecules formed by, or necessary to, metabolism, such as sugars and fats; the building blocks of proteins, DNA and cell membranes; and chemical signals given off by cells. They investigated metabolite levels in the kidney, thigh muscle and three brain regions — the primary visual cortex, which is involved in vision; the cerebellar cortex, which helps coordinate muscular activity; and the prefrontal cortex, which plays a major role in complex mental behavior, decision making and social behavior.

The investigators next compared how much the metabolisms of these animals differed with how far apart these species are evolutionarily.

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French Artist’s Reconstructions Of Early Hominids Look Like They’ll Move At Any Minute

PIC: Elisabeth Daynès (C)

PIC: Elisabeth Daynès (C)

Read The Smithsonian article and head on over to IMGUR if you want to see the pictures without a slideshow to wade through.

Won’t be seeing any of these at the Creationist Museum, will we? (Then again, they have a dinosaur you can saddle up and ride just like Adam and Eve!)

Via The Smithsonian.

This hyper-realistic depiction of Lucy comes from the Atelier Daynès studio in Paris, home of French sculptor and painter Elisabeth Daynès. Her 20-year career is a study in human evolution—in addition to Lucy, she’s recreated Sahelanthropus tchadensis, as well as Paranthropus boisei, Homo erectus, and Homo floresiensis, just to name a few. Her works appear in museums across the globe, and in 2010, Daynès won the prestigious J. Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize for her reconstructions.

Read more at The Smithsonian.

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You’ve Got Chimp Feet. Maybe.

03Well, I’ll be a monkey’s podiatrist…

Via New Scientist:

YOU may be walking on chimp-like feet without knowing it. At least 1 in 13 of us have feet that are specially adapted for climbing trees.

Textbooks will tell you that the human foot is rigid, which allows more efficient walking. Other apes, in contrast, have flexible feet better suited to grasping branches as they move through the trees. But the textbooks are wrong, say Jeremy DeSilva and Simone Gill at Boston University.

The pair asked 400 adults to walk barefoot around the Boston Museum of Science while they filmed their feet. This revealed that 8 per cent of people have some mid-foot flexibility, rather like that seen in tree-dwelling apes (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, doi.org/mmh). In another, soon-to-be-published analysis, Robin Huw Crompton at the University of Liverpool, UK, found that a flexible mid-foot may be even more common than DeSilva and Gill suggest.

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Did Sex With Plants Drive Human Evolution?

In the African forests we were shoving the hormone rich sex [reproductive] organs of plants into our mouths everyday for millions of years…Each containing a level of biochemical complexity off the charts that influenced DNA transcription, pineal gland activity, and so on.

Trees were like drug dealers on the corner competing for attention. The most attractive, delicious, and nutritious fruits were the ones chosen, with the plants reward being seed dissemination; thus securing their survival down the evolutionary timeline. For the organism doing the ‘oral sex’, this biochemical cocktail, which we are only just beginning to understand, was quite literally involved in building and fueling the brain on a sub-cellular level for eons.

Part 1

Part 2

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