Biological anthropology

Biological anthropology is the subdiscipline of anthropology that investigates the origins and evolution of hominins. Techniques include both the analysis of fossils and the behaviour, morphology and genetics of living humans.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Biogeochemistry of teeth from the Italian site of Grotta Paglicci show different mobility strategies for humans using the cave either side of the Last Glacial Maximum.

    • Federico Lugli
    • , Anna Cipriani
    • , Giulia Capecchi
    • , Stefano Ricci
    • , Francesco Boschin
    • , Paolo Boscato
    • , Paola Iacumin
    • , Federica Badino
    • , Marcello A. Mannino
    • , Sahra Talamo
    • , Michael P. Richards
    • , Stefano Benazzi
    •  & Annamaria Ronchitelli
  • Research |

    Fossil evidence indicates that Denisovans occupied the Tibetan Plateau in the Middle Pleistocene epoch and successfully adapted to this high-altitude hypoxic environments long before the regional arrival of modern Homo sapiens.

    • Fahu Chen
    • , Frido Welker
    • , Chuan-Chou Shen
    • , Shara E. Bailey
    • , Inga Bergmann
    • , Simon Davis
    • , Huan Xia
    • , Hui Wang
    • , Roman Fischer
    • , Sarah E. Freidline
    • , Tsai-Luen Yu
    • , Matthew M. Skinner
    • , Stefanie Stelzer
    • , Guangrong Dong
    • , Qiaomei Fu
    • , Guanghui Dong
    • , Jian Wang
    • , Dongju Zhang
    •  & Jean-Jacques Hublin
    Nature 569, 409-412
  • Research |

    Genome-wide data for 763 individuals from inner Eurasia reveal 3 admixture clines in present-day populations that mirror geography, illuminating the historic spread and mixture of peoples across the Eurasian steppe, taiga and tundra.

    • Choongwon Jeong
    • , Oleg Balanovsky
    • , Elena Lukianova
    • , Nurzhibek Kahbatkyzy
    • , Pavel Flegontov
    • , Valery Zaporozhchenko
    • , Alexander Immel
    • , Chuan-Chao Wang
    • , Olzhas Ixan
    • , Elmira Khussainova
    • , Bakhytzhan Bekmanov
    • , Victor Zaibert
    • , Maria Lavryashina
    • , Elvira Pocheshkhova
    • , Yuldash Yusupov
    • , Anastasiya Agdzhoyan
    • , Sergey Koshel
    • , Andrei Bukin
    • , Pagbajabyn Nymadawa
    • , Shahlo Turdikulova
    • , Dilbar Dalimova
    • , Mikhail Churnosov
    • , Roza Skhalyakho
    • , Denis Daragan
    • , Yuri Bogunov
    • , Anna Bogunova
    • , Alexandr Shtrunov
    • , Nadezhda Dubova
    • , Maxat Zhabagin
    • , Levon Yepiskoposyan
    • , Vladimir Churakov
    • , Nikolay Pislegin
    • , Larissa Damba
    • , Ludmila Saroyants
    • , Khadizhat Dibirova
    • , Lubov Atramentova
    • , Olga Utevska
    • , Eldar Idrisov
    • , Evgeniya Kamenshchikova
    • , Irina Evseeva
    • , Mait Metspalu
    • , Alan K. Outram
    • , Martine Robbeets
    • , Leyla Djansugurova
    • , Elena Balanovska
    • , Stephan Schiffels
    • , Wolfgang Haak
    • , David Reich
    •  & Johannes Krause
  • Research |

    Homo luzonensis, a new species of Homo from the Callao Cave in the Philippines from the Late Pleistocene epoch, is described.

    • Florent Détroit
    • , Armand Salvador Mijares
    • , Julien Corny
    • , Guillaume Daver
    • , Clément Zanolli
    • , Eusebio Dizon
    • , Emil Robles
    • , Rainer Grün
    •  & Philip J. Piper
    Nature 568, 181-186

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Radiocarbon dates from Spain put anatomically modern humans in southernmost Europe 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, diminishing the case for late survival of Neanderthals in the region.

    • Katerina Douka
  • Research Highlights |

    A study in Nature characterizes the genome of Denisova 11 and reveals her to be a first-generation offspring of Neanderthal and Denisovan parents, thereby providing direct evidence of genetic mixing between genetically distinct groups of archaic hominins.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • News and Views |

    A study finds association between the occurrence of intimate partner violence and marital fertility among Tsimané forager-horticulturalists, independent of proximate explanations, suggesting that intimate partner violence may persist as an evolutionary strategy to enhance male fitness.

    • Elizabeth G. Pillsworth
  • News and Views |

    A comparison of men who migrated from Bangladesh to the United Kingdom at different ages, alongside men who were lifelong residents of both countries, reveals that early environments determine levels of reproductive hormones and secondary sexual characteristics.

    • Aaron D. Blackwell
  • News and Views |

    Craniofacial modelling illustrates the lack of a biomechanical function for the hominin browridge and points to a potential role in social communication.

    • Markus Bastir