A bone fragment from a French archaeological site has turned out to be a part of an early specialized bone tool used by a Neanderthal before the first modern humans appeared in Europe.

Trailer park residents are one of the few demographics it's still okay to stereotype but, as is usually the case, low-income trailer park residents form distinct groups with different visions of morality, according to a new paper. In other words, they are no more easy to quantify than anyone else.

Though some Europeans were still hunter-gatherers in 4,600 BC, there was interaction between the hunter-gatherer and farming communities and a 'sharing' of animals and knowledge  which led to acquisition of domesticated pigs from nearby farmers, according to new evidence. 

Anthropomorphism is overlooked as a powerful tool for promoting low-profile species that are either endangered or require urgent attention, say the authors of a new paper.

As has been noted in the past, it also helps to use cute animals.

At present, anthropomorphism in conservation is limited to social, intelligent animals, such as chimpanzees, polar bears and dolphins but the authors say we shouldn't imply that other species are not worthy of conservation because they are not like humans in the 'right' ways.

Our early ancestors developed a taste for spicy food at the time they were beginning to transition to agriculture.

The researchers discovered traces of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), along with animal and fish residues, on the charred remains of pottery dating back nearly 7,000 years. The silicate remains were discovered through microfossil analysis of carboniszed food deposits from pots found at sites in Denmark and Germany. The pottery dated from the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition from hunter-gathering to agriculture.

Zoos have used water moats to confine chimpanzees, gorillas or orangutans. When apes ventured into deep water, they often drowned, which indicated that apes could not learn to swim and so prefer to stay on dry land.

But it turns out that they can.

Two researchers have video-based observation of swimming and diving apes. Instead of the usual dog-paddle stroke used by most terrestrial mammals, these animals use a kind of breaststroke. This swimming strokes peculiar to humans (and apes) might be the result of an earlier adaptation to an arboreal life.

Excavations of tools at two neighboring Paleolithic sites in southwest France have made the blurred lines between modern humans and Neanderthals more blurry. 

Two research teams from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands have jointly reported the discovery of Neandertal bone tools unlike any others previously found in Neandertal sites - but similar to a tool from later modern human sites and still and still used even today. 

In the 19th century, following the Enlightenment, the process of secularization seemed to be on a slow but unstoppable roll.  One consequence of this was the development of a view of history, whereby religion in general, Christianity in particular, and above all the Roman Catholic church, assumed the rôle of the enemy of all progress, and progress was by definition good.  Clerics were pictured as Asuras (in Hindu epic titanic beings perpetually at war with the Devas or gods) always opposing the scientists with their own Clerisy.

How would you measure the 'evolution' - that is to say, changes - in human culture and psychology over the last 200 years? 

Psychologist Patricia Greenfield of the University of California, Los Angeles used the Google Ngram Viewer to examine the frequencies of specific words in a corpus of over 1,160,000 English-language books published in the United States between 1800 and 2000. At least it tells us how linguistics evolved.

The result, says Greenfield, is that people have shifted from rural environment to urban. 

She has coined this hypothesis the "Theory of Social Change and Human Development" and believes that the usage of specific words waxes and wanes as a reflection of psychological adaptation to sociocultural change. 

There is a "thrifty phenotype" hypothesis which suggests that economic conditions present during fetal development that then improve dramatically during a person's childhood lead to poorer health in adulthood. 

In other words, if people are poor, it might be healthier if they stay poor. The evidence: the strikingly high prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in the American South, which the author of a new paper suggests can be partially traced to rapid economic growth between 1950 and 1980.