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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.


Humanity's Origin Story Just Got More Complicated, and Fascinating

George Dvorsky Gizmodo
Replica of the Broken Hill skull, found in Zambia in 1921. Human evolution was a complex process with many human species living and interbreeding at the same time. This emerging narrative, which challenges the old theory of human evolution as a linear march of progress, was bolstered by three new studies.

A DNA Glimpse of an Egnimatic Human Relative

Maya Wei-Haas National Geographic
For nearly a decade, researchers have puzzled over what the Denisovans looked like. Now, we have our best model yet of the species' skeleton.

New Human Species Found in the Philippines

This is the second species of diminutive human to be found in south-east Asia. Both species lived around 50,000 years ago, at a time when Asia was also home to our species, the Neanderthals and a group called the Denisovans. The new species raises many questions, including who were its ancestors and how did it move?

Can Great Apes Read Your Mind?

Christopher Krupenye The Conversation
In past research, apes consistently failed on tasks designed to assess their understanding of others’ false beliefs. They did’t seem to know when someone has an idea about the world that conflicts with reality. But in a new study involving 40 bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans the apes were able to anticipate that an actor would behave in accordance with a false belief.

What the First Ancient African Genome Reveals

Ewen Callaway Nature
For the first time, a complete DNA sequence from Africa dating back thousands of years has been recovered. The DNA of this Ethiopian man sheds new light on the movement out of Africa, and also movement of Eurasians back into Africa.

The new (wonderful) Dmanisi skull

Adam Van Arsdale A.P. Van Arsdale Blog
Dmanisi provides the best window we have as to what normal variation looks like in the early Homo fossil record. Dated to between 1.81-1.76 million years, the site sits in the midst of some of the most important fossil sequences in the human fossil record (i.e. Koobi Fora and the Turkana Basin, Olduvai Gorge).
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