Fossilized footprints in White Sands National Park

North America's Oldest Known Footprints Point to Earlier Human Arrival to the Continent

New dating methods have added more evidence that these fossils date to 23,000 years ago, pushing back migration to the Americas by thousands of years

This statue of Christopher Columbus resides at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station in Washington, D.C. 

Breaking Down the United States' Historical Obsession With Christopher Columbus

Columbus became Columbus in the American Revolution—when the colonials sought out an origin story that didn’t involve the British

Artistic reconstruction of a group of hominins in direct competition for carrion with a hyena

One Million Years Ago, Our Human Relatives May Have Challenged Giant Hyenas for Carcasses

Groups of hominins might have successfully scavenged large kills, new modeling finds

The core formula of a new study in Science that suggests our ancestors may have survived a bottleneck 900,000 years ago

Our Human Ancestors Very Nearly Went Extinct 900,000 Years Ago, Genetics Suggest

A study proposes that the population that gave rise to modern humans may have been reduced to roughly 1,300 reproducing individuals

The Tyrolean Iceman Ötzi is one of the oldest known human glacier mummies.

Famed 5,300-Year-Old Alps Iceman Was a Balding Middle-Aged Man With Dark Skin and Eyes

Genetic analysis shows that Ötzi was descended from farmers who migrated from an area that is now part of Turkey

As one Nile crocodile rests, another perks up near a river in Tanzania.

Nile Crocodiles Recognize and React to the Sound of Crying Babies

The reptiles may be aware that primate infants are in trouble—and an easy meal

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History paleoanthropologist Briana Pobiner came across this hominin tibia in Kenya’s Nairobi National Museum. The magnified area shows cut marks.

Our Human Relatives Butchered and Ate Each Other 1.45 Million Years Ago

Telltale marks on a bone from an early human’s leg could be the earliest evidence of cannibalism

Engravings discovered in La Roche-Cotard cave

Oldest Known Neanderthal Engravings Were Sealed in a Cave for 57,000 Years

The art was created long before modern humans inhabited France's Loire Valley

A Babylonian clay model dated to 1800 B.C.E. shows a nude couple on a couch engaged in sex and kissing.

Humanity’s First Recorded Kiss Was Earlier Than We Thought

Ancient texts suggest romantic smooching, and likely the diseases it transmitted, were widespread in Mesopotamia

Flint points from Grotte Mandrin in France and Ksar Akil in Lebanon

54,000 Years Ago, Humans and Neanderthals May Have Inhabited Europe Together

Similarities between artifacts found in Lebanon and France suggest Homo sapiens migrants brought tool traditions with them

One-third of the world’s population can’t see the starry band of light in the night sky that makes up the Milky Way (above). The new show “Lights Out: Recovering Our Night Sky” at the National Museum of Natural History looks at the devastating impacts of artificial light.

Why It’s Time for a Worldwide Lights-Out Program

A new Smithsonian exhibition delves into the issue of light pollution, with easy solutions offering an immediate change

A revolutionary new tool, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA, will monitor the chemistry and changing dynamics of major pollutants (above: an Arizona power generating station).

This Eye in the Sky Promises Major Insights Into the Air We Breathe

The satellite mission TEMPO will detect pollutants at a neighborhood scale across the nation

Technician Yesmarie De La Flor prepares cultures of probiotics in the Smithsonian Marine Station’s microbiology laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida. These probiotics were used for testing on diseased corals.

Probiotics May Help Corals Fight a Dangerous Disease Off Florida’s Coast

The new treatment shows promise in lab experiments

A cockatoo uses a sharp stick to poke through a membrane before using a scoop to fish out the cashew inside the box.

Like Humans and Chimps, Cockatoos Can Use a Set of Tools to Get a Meal

In lab experiments, the brainy birds carried a stick and scooped with them to get at cashews kept in a box

Two brothers’ remains were found buried together under the floorboards of their home. One had a hole in his skull consistent with surgery.

This Man Underwent Brain Surgery 3,500 Years Ago

Researchers discovered a punctured skull below the floor of a home in what is now Israel

A fossil hippo skeleton and associated Oldowan artifacts were exposed at the Nyayanga site.

Who Made the First Stone Tool Kits?

A nearly three-million-year-old butchering site packed with animal bones, stone implements and molars from our early ancestors reignites the debate

Large felids such as lions and tigers cause more deaths than other predators like bears and wolves. Most fatal felid attacks occur in low-income areas and are predatory, with humans stalked as prey.

What 70 Years of Data Says About Where Predators Kill Humans

A new survey of attacks by lions, wolves and other big carnivores shows that people in low-income countries are at greater risk

An artist’s reconstruction of Ignacius dawsonae surviving in the warm but dark forests of Ellesmere Island

Primate-Like Critters Survived in the Arctic When It Was a Lush, Warm Swamp

Even as darkness gripped the forests for months, two small species made it home

Red junglefowl, ancestors of wild chickens, are known to mix with domestic birds.

Why Chickens Need to Stop Breeding With Their Wild Cousins

The red junglefowl is losing important genetic diversity in its native Asian habitat

A grave with bones that were analyzed

Ancient DNA Charts Native Americans’ Journeys to Asia Thousands of Years Ago

Analysis of ten Eurasian individuals, up to 7,500 years old, gives a new picture of movement across continents

Page 1 of 10