Why Are We The Only Humans Left?

Look around and you’ll meet some pretty smart animals, but there’s no species quite like us. But that wasn’t always true. As recently as 50,000 years ago we walked the planet along with at least three other human species. Denisovans and real-life Hobbits Homo floresiensis didn’t leave much behind to know them by, but Neanderthals […]

How Sloths Went From the Seas to the Trees

8 million years ago, off the coast of Peru, a large mammal used its powerful claws to pull itself along the ocean floor, holding fast against the waves as it foraged for seagrass. 5 million years ago, a similar creature was burrowing underground in Argentina, digging burrows so massive that you could walk right into […]

The Missing Link That Wasn’t

It’s 1912, and an amateur archaeologist named Charles Dawson came forward with a discovery that almost changed our understanding of human evolution. Almost. Dawson’s find was some unusual human-like skull fragments, and he showed them to the Keeper of Geology at the British Museum, Sir Arthur Smith Woodward. He explained that the fragments were given […]

Where Did Humans Come From?

Picture human ancestry like a single chain of species: primitive to perfect, with a progression of all the apey-human things in between. Now take that picture, crumple it up and light it on fire. That’s not how it happened. Now we know we’re just one of more than two dozen human species that’ve walked the […]

How turtle shells evolved… twice – Judy Cebra Thomas

Meet Odontochelys semitestacea. This little creature spends its days splashing in Late Triassic swamps with a host of other reptiles. Under the surface lies its best defense against attack: a hard shell on its belly. Odontochelys is an early ancestor of the turtle. Its half-shelled body illustrates an important point about the modern turtle: it […]

Your Place in the Primate Family Tree

Hey there, Kallie here to remind you that Eons has some cool stickers for sale over at DFTBA.com, link in the description. Thanks for watching and, on with the show. Would you recognize your earliest primate ancestor if you met it face to face? What if it didn’t look like a monkey, or an ape, […]

The Humans That Lived Before Us

For about a million years in the early Pleistocene Epoch — from about 2.4 million to 1.4 million years ago — it was a really exciting time to be a hominin. Hominins, you’ll recall, are the group of human ancestors that are more closely related to us than to chimps and bonobos. During this million-year […]