#Takemeback: How faunal material can recreate the paleolandscape

Remember that vacation you took when you were with your squad? They looked good, you looked good, the weather was perfect and the selfies on fleek. Everyone has moments they remember fondly and wish they could go back to. And, like everyone else, paleoanthropologists wish they could go back in time, too…Just a couple of million years more!

The Human Color Swatch: How variation affects your skin color

Have you ever found yourself in the paint aisle, staring wordlessly at the seemingly endless array of color fusion? I inevitably find myself staring at those swatches and wondering how on earth there can be hundreds of variations of yellow. Perhaps, I think, I’m just an unrefined savage when it comes to discerning paint color, or perhaps the colors really aren’t that different and it’s simply a trick presented by paint advertisers. However, upon closer inspection, I see the vague tinges of shade difference. So, when presented with such an array of colors and all the designating names categorizing them, I realize that we humans have a deep understanding of color variation. This ability to see color has allowed us to note the vast diversity of skin color among our own species.

Don’t Forget to Bring your Trowel! The 101 on Paleoanthropology

The air is hot and dry, the ground dusty. All around young graduate students are cautiously sweeping the dirt away in hopes of finding hominin fossil fragments and quenching their thirst for fame and knowledge. They are paleoanthropologists. Individuals who strive to better understand and catalog human ancestry.

Supervillain or Superhero? How autosomal recessive disorders affected human evolution  

Oftentimes in movies, we root for the superhero and despise the super villain. After all, who wants Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth to dominate the world by turning the moon into a death star? His success wouldn’t benefit anyone other than himself and his cohort of miscreants.  Civilization and freedom would be compromised, effectively squashingContinue reading “Supervillain or Superhero? How autosomal recessive disorders affected human evolution  “

One Dog, Two Dog, Big Dog, Small Dog: The forces of evolution

Sitting on a park bench one day, you notice a Great Dane and Chihuahua happily sniffing and circling each other in mutual greeting. Staring, you notice how different they are and wonder how it is even possible that they are still part of the same species. This difference you see is known as ‘variation’.