Anthropology

When tragedies happen, politicians aim to yell on the floors of Congress about how tragedies must be stopped. 

And gun tragedies should be entirely preventable, claim gun ban proponents. Just ban guns. It may make sense to assume that states in which there are tight laws make that state safer and lead to less gun crime, but that data show that the very opposite is true. You can't get a concealed weapon permit in Illinois but Chicago leads the US in gun murders. In 2013, a concealed carry bill was passed, making Illinois the final state to issue concealed gun carry permits.

You may think you eat too much but humans (and other primates) actually burn 50% fewer calories each day than other mammals, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Our remarkably slow metabolisms explain why humans and other primates grow up slowly and live long lives.


Paranthropus boisei, nicknamed "Nutcracker Man" because of his big flat molar teeth and powerful jaws,lived in East Africa between 2.4 million-1.4 million years ago.

A new paper postulates that he survived mainly on a diet of tiger nuts - edible grass bulbs still eaten in parts of the world today- along with fruits and invertebrates, like worms and grasshoppers.  


An analysis of thyroid hormones from urine samples of zoo-living chimpanzees and bonobos has led anthropologists to conclude that hormone levels may be why chimpanzees and bonobos share similar starting conditions at birth but develop different behavioral patterns later in life.

The researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp discovered that bonobos retain elevated thyroid hormone concentrations well into adulthood, whereas in humans and chimpanzees thyroid hormone concentrations decline after puberty.

The late decline of thyroid hormones in bonobos might have consequences on their behavior and might also indicate a delayed development of their mental capacities.


Neanderthals buried their dead, according to an international team of archaeologists after a 13-year study of remains discovered in southwestern France which seeks to end a long-standing controversy.

They say it confirms that burials took place in western Europe prior to the arrival of modern humans.


Young adults want to live n cities. No surprise there, cities have more nightlife and activity. What is a surprise is the claims that young adults instead want to live in cities because of mass transit, and high-density housing. If those were so terrific, people would not move to the suburbs when they have families. 

Professor Markus Moos of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo sought to debunk ideas of neighborhood gentrification defined along class lines, so he focused on urban core areas increasingly populated by young adults who have delayed child-bearing and education and economic prospects in return for an extended youthful phase.


In his examination of health care globalization,
Twenty years before the Pilgrims, the first events which could be called thanksgiving days in the history of English speaking America occurred in Virginia in the early 1600's.
There's no mystery like the mystery of folk lore. Scientists will find the missing link and dark matter before historians will definitely figure out the phylogeny of ancient tales - but for only $1,200 you can write a paper and get it published in a journal.

It's a common enough tale, told throughout the history of literature. A parent prefers their 'real' children and the life of the step-child is miserable as a result, compared to the biological child.

That "Cinderella effect" claims that it is biologically inevitable that parents care less for stepchildren because they do not spread their genes - as you might expect, actual biologists did not come up with it, anthropologists did. And the authors of a new paper recognize something you knew all along; in many cases, the value and personality of a step-child matters more than biological inheritance, just like with biological children.