It is the oldest and one of the most extreme case of interbreeding found so far in the tangled tale of human origins. Around 700,000 years ago, a group of ancient humans that would later give rise to both the Neanderthals and Denisovans mated with an unidentified group of hominins.
Thunderstorms are most common in the late afternoon, when plenty of heat has built up, but in years to come a different pattern might emerge. A simulation of future rainfall suggests that climate change could push the heaviest downpours into the night or even the early morning.
Our hominin ancestors had started making stone tools on a regular basis around 2.61 million years ago – 10,000 years earlier than thought
The Roman Empire lit so many fires that the resulting air pollution cooled the climate in Europe
Marine animals called sea squirts can regenerate their entire bodies from nothing but a tiny fragment of a blood vessel. Their secret is a special population of stem cells floating in their blood
Winged Jurassic dinosaur Archaeopteryx was more than just an early ancestor of birds – fossils reveal it was an evolutionary wonder akin to Darwin's finches
Water from the ocean has been steadily draining away into the interior of our planet over the last 150 million years. The loss of water is equivalent to a fall in sea level of at least 50 metres and possibly 130 metres
A thin layer of 3.3 billion-year-old rock contains unexpected treasure: organic matter that was carried to Earth by meteorites when the planet was still young
Tortoise meat is supposedly so delicious it has led people to eat some species to extinction. Evidently chimpanzees enjoy it too, as a group of these apes has figured out how to crack open tortoise shells to eat the meat within
Chimps have spontaneously figured out how to use a stick to mash a potato. The finding could prompt a rethink of how tool use develops in primate societies
Sabre-toothed cats may have used their fearsome canine teeth to bite their rivals in the head, puncturing their skulls and probably killing them
The findings expose the deficiencies of tsunami warning systems, as well as highlighting the power of citizen science
A group of chimpanzees stole a freshly killed animal from a leopard, then ate it. It is the first time the apes have been seen challenging such a large and dangerous predator
We still don’t have hard evidence for life on Mars, but a new study suggests that if it does exist there cannot be much of it