Press releases (archive)

Contact: Sandra Jacob (e-mail: info@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<], phone: +49 (0) 341-3550 122)


With a little help from my friends

Support from family and friends significantly reduces stress in wild chimpanzees – during conflicts with rival groups and during everyday affiliation


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Ancient Britons were highly mobile

Ancient Britons' teeth reveal people were 'highly mobile' 4,000 years ago

Archaeologists have created a new database from the teeth of prehistoric…

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Apes understand that some things are all in your head

Bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans understand that others can be convinced of something that is not true

We all know that the way someone sees the…

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Of Apes and Men

First in-depth comparison of human and chimpanzee neural stem cells uncovers unexpected differences

Our similarities and differences to chimpanzees,…

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Children overeagerly seeking social rules

Three-year-olds quickly absorb social norms. They even understand behaviors as rule-governed that are not subject to any norms, and insist that others…

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Ear ossicles of modern humans and Neandertals - different shape, similar function

Scientists find the greatest number of small ear ossicles known from Neandertals so far and compare them to the ossicles of modern humans

A research…

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Palaeoproteomics helps differentiate between modern humans and Neandertals

Human Evolution

Researchers decode ancient proteins of Châtelperronian Neandertals

The Châtelperronian of central France and northern Spain is critical to the debate…

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How Single Cells Build Complex Organs

Ernst Schering Foundation awards Friedmund Neumann Prize 2016 to junior scientist Barbara Treutlein for her outstanding work on single cell…

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Voice control in orangutan gives clues to early human speech

Orangutan Rocky could provide the key to understanding how speech in humans evolved from the time of the ancestral great apes

Previously it was thought…

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Homo erectus walked as we do

Human Evolution

1.5-million-year-old footprints provide window to the life of Homo erectus

Fossil bones and stone tools can tell us a lot about human evolution, but…

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Wild chimpanzees aim their travel towards fatty nuts

An international team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the Félix Houphouët Boigny…

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Female bonobos send mixed messags to males

Sexual swellings are unreliable signals of fertility in female bonobos

In several species of primates, males often discern when to mate with a female…

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Neanderthals were stocky from birth

Human Evolution

Our closest relatives were born with wide bodies and robust bones

If a Neandertal were to sit down next to us on the underground, we would probably…

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History on Ice

Researchers paint a genetic portrait of Ice Age Europe

By analyzing genome-wide data from the remains of 51 humans who lived between 45,000 and 7,000…

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Children also gossip

Five-year-olds affect the reputation of others through gossip

When it comes to selecting a cooperation partner, information about another person’s…

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Hominins may have been food for carnivores

Human Evolution

Tooth-marks on a 500,000-year-old femur from Morocco indicate hominin hunting or scavenging by large carnivores

An international team of researchers…

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Genetics reveals the impact of lifestyle on evolution

Researchers find differences between ethnic groups living as farmers and those engaged in traditional hunter-gatherer activities

Scientists have long…

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Stone Age hunters contributed adaptive variants to present-day Europeans

More local adaptations in European genes were contributed by Stone Age hunters than farmers

Modern humans have adapted to their local environments over…

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400,000-year-old fossils from Spain provide earliest genetic evidence of Neandertals

Analysis of nuclear DNA from Sima de los Huesos hominins provides evidence of their relationship to Neandertals

Previous analyses of the hominins from…

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More Sumatran orangutans than previously thought

More Sumatran orangutans live in the wild than previously thought, yet continuing deforestation is likely to substantially reduce their number


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Why do chimpanzees throw stones at trees?

Newly discovered stone tool-use behavior and accumulation sites in wild chimpanzees reminiscent to human cairns

Chimpanzees often use tools to extract…

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'Cocktail' orang-utans leave researchers shaken and stirred

Reintroduction of genetically distinct subspecies has led to hybridization in an endangered wild population

As their natural habitats continue to be…

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Predicting human evolution: Teeth tell the story

Researchers find evolution of human teeth to be much simpler than previously thought, and can predict the sizes of teeth missing from hominin fossils


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Early gene flow from modern humans into Neanderthals

Researchers find first genetic evidence of modern human DNA in a Neanderthal individual

Using several different methods of DNA analysis, an…

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Fleeting fruit in a tropical rainforest

To find energy-rich food, like tropical ripe fruit, is a challenge for chimpanzees

In our supermarkets we buy raspberries in winter and chestnuts in…

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Chimp friendships are based on trust

Max Planck researchers found that our closest relatives, too, trust their friends

It almost goes without saying that trust is a defining element of…

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Neanderthals boosted our immune system

The mixing of archaic human forms played an important role in shaping the immune system of modern humans

When modern humans met Neanderthals in Europe…

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Cetacean strandings increase dramatically at times of rapid climate change

Human Evolution

Researchers of the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, in collaboration with…

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Homo naledi - our new relative

Researchers discover a new species of fossil human in a cave in South Africa

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Food-leftovers in the dental calculus

Markers of diet and behaviour in chimpanzee dental calculus

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig,…

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The oldest case of decapitation in the Americas

Human Evolution

A 9,000 year-old case of human decapitation has been found in the rock shelter of Lapa do Santo in Brazil

Few Amerindian habits impressed the…

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Female bonobos: Pointing it out

In order to communicate their intentions wild bonobos use referential gestural communication

Pointing and pantomime are important components of human…

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Michael Tomasello receives Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Society (APA)

Michael Tomasello’s pioneering research on the origins of socialcognition has led to revolutionary insights in both developmentalpsychology and…

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Orang-utan females prefer cheek-padded males

Dominant, cheek-padded orang-utan males are significantly more successful at fathering offspring – except in times of rank instability

Unlike most…

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Chimpanzees coping with forest loss

A genetic survey finds an unexpectedly large population of chimpanzees in forest fragments

By collecting faecal samples and analysing them genetically…

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MPI-EVA has a new director

Headed by Professor Richard McElreath the Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture is going to start its work at the Max Planck Institute for…

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Kiwi bird genome sequenced

The kiwi, national symbol of New Zealand, gives insights into the evolution of nocturnal animals

Its unusual biological characteristics make the…

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Complexity before size: Old world monkey had a tiny but complex brain

Human Evolution

Victoriapithecus had a small brain relative to its body size with an olfactory bulb about three times as large as that in present-day monkeys


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An Early European had a close Neandertal ancestor

Genetic analysis of a 40,000-year-old jawbone from Romania reveals that early modern humans interbred with Neandertals when they first came to Europe


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Three-year-olds help victims of injustice

Young children are just as likely to respond to the needs of another individual as they are to their own

Toddlers have a reputation for being stubborn,…

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Climate change: boating in the desert

Human Evolution

Lake Mungo may have inspired Australians to reinvent boat use in the middle of the desert 24,000 years ago

Geologists and archaeologists from the Max…

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Modern human dispersal into Europe came from the Levant

Human Evolution

Modern humans occupied the Near East 45,900 years ago and colonized Europe from there

A multinational team led by researchers from the Max Planck…

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Mountain gorilla mamas sidestep having inbred offspring

Genetic study shows that dominant males never sire the offspring of their daughters

Some mountain gorilla females linger into adulthood in the group…

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2015 Winner Announced - Chimpanzee Conservation

A multi-level conservation project, which aims to protect the largest remaining population of wild chimpanzees on the Foutah Djallon-Bafing River…

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Deciphering the demise of Neandertals

Human Evolution

Members of our species Homo sapiens belonging to the Protoaurignacian culture may have been the ultimate cause for the demise of Neandertals,…

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Participation sought! New citizen science project

Volunteers will screen video footage filmed by camera traps and identify wild African animal

With Chimp&See, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for…

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Oldest evidence for the use of mushrooms as a food source

Analyses of old dental calculus show that humans consumed plant foods and mushrooms as early as the Upper Palaeolithic

The human diet during the…

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Eavesdropping on the forest to monitor wildlife

Researchers develop a novel passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) method for the automated detection of chimpanzees and two monkey species


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Protein is the clue to solving a Darwinian mystery

Human Evolution

Bone collagen sequences prove that South American native ungulates are closely related to horses, rhinos and tapirs but not to elephants

The South…

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Handy man reborn

Human Evolution

Digital makeover of iconic human fossil sheds light on human origins

State-of-the-art computer reconstruction of the original fossil of Homo habilis,…

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