November 20th, 2007

Our Ancestor?

New Ape May Be Human-Gorilla Ancestor

A ten-million-year-old jawbone recently unearthed in Kenya may have come from the last common ancestor of gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans, researchers say.

 

The find also helps refute a theory that the apes that eventually gave rise to humans left Africa for Asia and Europe, only to return much later, as many experts have hypothesized. 

The jaw was found at
Nakali, Kenya, on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley, along with incisor, canine, and molar teeth.

 

The teeth are so different from previous finds that researchers placed the creature, named Nakalipithecus nakayamai, in a new hominid genus.

 

Hominids are part of a broad family of primates that includes Africa's chimpanzees and gorillas and Southeast Asia's orangutans. The group also includes our own genus, Homo, and the extinct Australopithecus.

 

  • Current Mood: good good
Tags:

Sex Evolution

 

Males are Simple Creatures

The secret to why male organisms evolve faster than their female counterparts comes down to this: Males are simple creatures.

 

In nearly all species, males seem to ramp up glitzier garbs, more graceful dance moves and more melodic warbles in a never-ending vie to woo the best mates. Called sexual selection, the result is typically a showy male and a plain-Jane female. Evolution speeds along in the males compared to females.

 

  • Current Mood: amused amused
Tags: ,

Robot Code of Ethics

To Prevent Android Abuse and to Protect Humans

The government of South Korea is drawing up a code of ethics to prevent human abuse of robots—and vice versa.

 

The so-called Robot Ethics Charter will cover standards for robotics users and manufacturers, as well as guidelines on ethical standards to be programmed into robots.

 

  • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
Tags:

Quote of the Day

“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.”

 

John Locke (1632 - 1704)

  • Current Mood: good good
Tags:

Image of the Day

Whale Swims up Amazon Tributary

 

Residents of Brazil's Amazon River Basin try to help a minke whale reach deeper water on November 15, 2007, after it swam some 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from the Atlantic Ocean up the Amazon River. Sea creatures rarely venture so far into fresh water.

  • Current Mood: good good
Tags: