Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence

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Brain Evolution Study Shows Humans Sacrificed Brawn For High Intelligence

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Meet Your Cave-Parents. Sahelanthropus tchadensis Lived 7 million years ago.

Despite their size, the brains of Homo naledi have many of the sophisticated features found in modern humans. This point in particular struck a chord, as the idea these ape-like humans buried their dead in a ritualistic manner would suggest a level of sophistication never before seen in such apparently primitive creatures. Their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Cosmic Evolution - Epoch 7 - Cultural Evolution

Here we have a violation of that sacred cow — the idea there was this link between ever increasing brain size paralleled with ever increasing complexity — yet you have this tiny brain which is in effect every bit as complex as a modern human. This is significant because it prompt a rethink about what the size of the brain means for our intelligence. In geologists placed this unusual ancient human in southern Africa between , and , years ago, meaning they may have shared the region with modern humans. Their exact relationship with humans, however, is unknown.

They could be at the base of the human family tree, they could be our distant cousins, or they could — according to Dr Berger — even have hybridised with modern humans. All of this is still highly speculative, but one of the most exciting conclusions to be drawn from this work is the challenge it poses to archaeologists trying to piece together the story of human evolution — and human intelligence. This does open up other possibilities. To find out for sure, archaeologists will need to discover more evidence that directly links these archaeological sites with either our own species, H.

For the time being, Dr Berger said researchers cannot take for granted many of their assumptions about early humans. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Evolution of the Human Brain

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