Nautilus

Before We Painted Like Picasso, We Had to Share Like Gandhi

A comparison of the facial features of ancient modern humans (left) to more recent modern humans (right). Modern specimens have a less prominent brow ridge and a shorted upper face. Researchers suspect these changes were caused by a decrease of testosterone.Robert Cieri
 

In Earth’s not-so-distant fossil record of human ancestors, an important change appears around 200,000 years ago. Compared with earlier specimens, these skeletons are relatively fine-boned, with big skulls, delicate jaws, and flat, vertical foreheads. Such remnants are thought to depict a time in history when the human became modern—anatomically comparable to you and me today.

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