Anthropology

Scientists have pieced together an early human habitat for the first time, and life was no organic picnic 1.8 million years ago. Nature was out to kill us and the struggle our ancestors face, as all creatures do, is survival. Rather than the myth of ecological balance, if you were going to survive, you got there earlier and were more fit to last. 


Analysis of artifacts found on the shores of Rapa Nui, Chile (Easter Island) declares that the spear points were likely general purpose tools and not weapons of war, disputing one popular belief as to why people left or died off.


The Oxford Dictionaries selected "vape"--as in, to smoke from an electronic cigarette or inhalation device --as word of the year in 2014. Internet users' search behavior tells a similar story. 


In a post-apocalyptic future, what might happen to life if humans left the scene? After all, humans are very likely to disappear long before the sun expands into a red giant and exterminates all living things from the Earth.

Assuming that we don’t extinguish all other life as we disappear (an unlikely feat in spite of our unique propensity for driving extinction), history tells us to expect some pretty fundamental changes when humans are no longer the planet’s dominant animal species.

Bullying is a common technique to gain power or prestige, and has been for as long as humans and other animals have existed. It can take many forms. School yard tactics, like taking lunch money, have grown into Internet campaigns, such as tormenting kids on Facebook, and it has even become organized movements, like the dark-money funded group SourceWatch attacking scientists and pro-science groups for their donors.

A new review article seeks to outline roles and recommendations for peers, parents, schools and new media platforms to stop bullying. 


As Europeans spread across the New World, native Americans were overmatched. People who had never even learned how to write were up against soldiers with muskets - and new diseases they had no immunity against.

But lost in all of the anthropological speculation is any real evidence; did Europeans wipe out native populations with disease and war shortly after their first contact, and did it happen so fast it left tell-tale fingerprints on the global climate?


For as much time as Americans spend saying it is the greatest country on Earth, a whole lot of people worry about creating safe spaces where free expression is not allowed, or protesting the behavior of people they don't like.


Nearly 25 percent of all teens reported being involved in a physical fight in the past year, with higher rates of violent altercations among African-American and Latin-American adolescents than European-American ones.

To find out why, scholars writing in the Journal of Child and Family Studies conducted focus groups with African American and Latino parents regarding teen violence. Result: addressing the parents' attitudes about fighting, involving them in violence prevention programs and tailoring programs to different racial/ethnic groups may improve the effectiveness of prevention programs.


Every year, almost without thinking about it, we incorporate certain plant species into our Christmas celebrations. The most obvious is the Christmas tree, linked historically in England to Prince Albert – but its use in British homes goes back to at least 1761 when Charlotte wife of George III put up a tree at the royal court. (It’s probably worth noting here that the first artificial-brush Christmas tree was produced using the same machinery that was originally designed to produce toilet brushes.)

Scholars say video recordings show that tropical corvids fashion complex tools in the wild. The team attached tiny video 'spy-cameras'  to the crows to observe their natural foraging behavior and say there were two instances of hooked stick tool making on the footage they recorded, with one crow spending a minute making the tool, before using it to probe for food in tree crevices and even in leaf litter on the ground.

New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) are found on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia. They can use their bills to whittle twigs and leaves into bug-grabbing implements; some believe their tool-use is so advanced that it rivals that of some primates.