PerspectiveAnthropology

Climate and Human Evolution

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Science  04 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6017, pp. 540-542
DOI: 10.1126/science.1190683

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Summary

Did climate change shape human evolution? This question has old, deep roots (1, 2), but in recent decades, the fossil record of hominin evolution and behavior has improved, although it remains incomplete, and great progress has been made in the quality and number of African paleoclimate records from land and ocean sediments (3). A recent National Research Council (NRC) report (4) examines emerging faunal and paleoclimate evidence underlying the hypothesis that past climate changes may have influenced our evolution.