Watering the Air
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Making the most of a meal
Poison Dart Frogs
Koalas, Up Close and Personal
New Mammals
Swedish Rhapsody
Mosquito duets
Diving, Rolling, and Floating, Alligator Style
Chemistry and Materials
Big Machine Reveals Small Worlds
Small but WISE
Butterfly Wings and Waterproof Coats
The Book of Life
New eyes to scan the skies
Troubles with Hubble
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Battling Mastodons
A Living Fossil
Early Birds Ready to Rumble
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Surf Watch
Life under Ice
Greener Diet
Food Web Woes
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
Finding the Past
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Stonehenge Settlement
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
Saltwater Fish
Puffer Fish
Food and Nutrition
Sponges' secret weapon
Building a Food Pyramid
Strong Bones for Life
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Exam Preparation
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Running with Sneaker Science
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Flu Patrol
Giant Clam
Golden Retrievers
African Ostrich
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
One ring around them all
Project Music
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
A Change in Leaf Color
Fungus Hunt
Space and Astronomy
A Dusty Birthplace
Unveiling Titan
Killers from Outer Space
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Squeezing Oil from Old Wells
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Robots on the Road, Again
Middle school science adventures
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Recipe for a Hurricane
A Change in Climate
Add your Article

Words of the Distant Past

Some people just won't shut up. That's probably been true for a long time—maybe even hundreds of thousands of years. Computer reconstructions of ancient skulls show that our ancestors had ears built like ours as far back as 350,000 years ago. The ears of social mammals are typically designed to recognize sounds made by fellow species members. So, humanlike ears suggest humanlike speech, say researchers from Spain. Anthropologists don't know for sure when people started talking. To get a better idea, the new study focused on a group of fossils from a place in Spain called Sima de los Huesos. The fossils belong to a species called Homo heidelbergensis. Modern people did not evolve from H. heidelbergensis, but an ancient group called Neandertals might have. Using a computerized scanner, the researchers measured ear structures on the remains. Then, they used information about living people to make three-dimensional computer models of what the ancient ears looked like. Finally, they measured how sound would pass through the model ears. The results showed that the ears could handle almost exactly the same range of sounds that our ears can today. The researchers suggest that hearing and talking developed in a common ancestor shared by both Neandertals and modern people. Other experts are more skeptical. Some studies have turned up conflicting results about the ears and vocal chords of Neandertals. And anyway, hearing could have evolved long before talking. The two don't necessarily go together. If it's true that our ancestors could talk more than 350,000 years ago, that brings up another question. What kinds of things did they talk about?—E. Sohn

Words of the Distant Past
Words of the Distant Past

Designed and Powered by™