Approximately 50,000 years ago–between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic eras–humanity underwent an early technological revolution. Art, tools and various cultural relics developed at a rapid rate. Scholars and scientists have long debated what caused this transformation. Recently, several Stanford researchers proposed in Royal Society Interface, a journal of physical and life science, that the increase and diffusion of migration may have been key factors.
Neil Shubin has traversed the globe in his quest to fill in the fossil record, conducting field research in sites from Morocco to the Canadian Arctic. In a few weeks, he will add Antarctica to the list.
A Stanford study has found that animals generally become larger as they evolve over time, providing convincing evidence for Cope’s rule, a theory named for American paleontologist Edward Cope, who stated that population lineages tend to experience larger body sizes due to evolution.