Press and Public Relations

Sandra Jacob

Press and Public Relations
Phone:+49 341 3550-122Fax:+49 341 3550-119

Dr. Jörg Noack

Phone:+49 341 3550-120Fax:+49 341 3550-119

Head of administration

Marzela Scheller

Phone:+49 341 3550-112Fax:+49 341 3550-128


Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Research publications

You can find more research publications messages on the website of the Institute:

Research publications 2015

Food-leftovers in the dental calculus

October 19, 2015

Dental calculus provides insight into chimpanzee diet and behaviour



The oldest case of decapitation in the Americas

September 23, 2015

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


Female bonobos: Pointing it out

September 11, 2015

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


Homo naledi - our new relative

September 10, 2015

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


Orang-utan females prefer cheek-padded males

September 01, 2015

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


Chimpanzees coping with forest loss

August 25, 2015

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


Kiwi bird genome sequenced

July 23, 2015

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


Old world monkey had a tiny but complex brain

July 03, 2015

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 [more]


An early European had a close Neandertal ancestor

June 22, 2015

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 [more]


Three-year-olds help victims of injustice

June 18, 2015

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


Climate change: boating in the desert

June 17, 2015

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


Modern human dispersal into Europe came from the Levant

June 01, 2015

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


Mountain gorilla mamas sidestep having inbred offspring

May 20, 2015

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


Deciphering the demise of Neandertals

April 23, 2015

Members of our species Homo sapiens belonging to the Protoaurignacian culture may have been the ultimate cause for the demise of Neandertals, according to new research [more]


Oldest evidence for the use of mushrooms as a food source

April 16, 2015

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


Protein is the clue to solving a Darwinian mystery

March 18, 2015

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


Eavesdropping on the forest to monitor wildlife

March 18, 2015

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


Handy man reborn

March 04, 2015

Digital makeover of iconic human fossil sheds light on human origins [more]


Early human ancestors used their hands like modern humans

January 22, 2015

Pre-Homo human ancestral species, such as Australopithecus africanus, used human-like hand postures much earlier than was previously thought



Tonal languages require humidity

January 22, 2015

Languages with a wide range of tone pitches have primarily developed in regions with high levels of humidity [more]


Cracking the case

January 02, 2015

Wild chimpanzees select nut-cracking tools taking account of up to five different factors [more]

Research publications 2014

Don't be an outsider!

November 04, 2014

Very young children imitate their peers to fit in, while great apes tend to stick to their own preferences [more]


The early chimp gets the fig

October 27, 2014

Wild chimpanzees plan their breakfast time, type and location [more]


Earliest modern human sequenced

October 22, 2014

Researchers discover fragments of Neandertal DNA in the genome of a 45,000-year-old modern human from Siberia [more]

“Kernel” lexicon of languages remains stable in the long run

October 06, 2014

Changes in the social environment can nevertheless speed up the development of a language's lexicon [more]


Early modern human settlement in Central Europe

September 22, 2014

Modern humans may have migrated into Austria around 43,500 years ago during a period with a cold steppe-like climate [more]


Chimpanzee males more likely to kill and be killed

September 17, 2014

Lethal aggression in chimpanzees and bonobos is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts [more]


Female bonobos start up early

July 28, 2014

Onset of puberty in female bonobos precedes that of chimpanzees [more]


Dogs follow human voice direction to find hidden food

May 07, 2014

Max Planck researchers found that dogs and puppies can locate hidden food by using human voice direction referentially [more]

Family ties in the language jungle

April 16, 2014

Max Planck researchers reveal relationships between rare languages in the Colombian Amazon [more]


One of the last strongholds for Western chimpanzees

April 09, 2014

Liberia is home to the second largest chimpanzee population in West Africa [more]

The neanderthal in us

April 01, 2014

Contemporary Europeans have as many as three times more Neanderthal variants in genes involved in lipid catabolism than Asians and Africans [more]


Mixed genes

February 13, 2014

An interactive world map of human genetic history reveals likely genetic impacts of historical events [more]


New large population of chimpanzees discovered

February 05, 2014

Several thousand chimpanzees inhabit a remote forest area in the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo [more]


Friend or foe

February 05, 2014

Chimpanzees keep track of other group members’ bonding partners and use this knowledge in conflict situations [more]


The way to a chimpanzee's heart is through its stomach

January 15, 2014

Chimpanzees who share their food with others have higher levels of the hormone oxytocin in their urine [more]

Research publications 2013

Piecing in the puzzles of human evolution

December 19, 2013

Neandertals, Denisovans, modern humans: who descended from whom? What researchers have discovered so far - a chronology of the key research results [more]


Neandertal genome project reaches its goal

December 18, 2013

Researchers compile definitive list of the DNA sequence changes that make us human [more]


Chimpanzees are rational, not conformists

December 16, 2013

Chimpanzees flexibly adjust their behaviour to maximise payoffs, not to conform to majorities [more]


Bonobos stay young longer

December 16, 2013

Contrary to humans and chimpanzees bonobos retain elevated thyroid hormones well into adulthood [more]


Oldest hominin DNA sequenced

December 04, 2013

Max Planck researchers sequence the mitochondrial genome of a 400,000-year-old hominin from Spain [more]


Grammatical structures as a window into the past

November 04, 2013

New world atlas of colonial-era languages reveals massive traces of African and Pacific source languages [more]


Long-term memory helps chimpanzees in their search for food

October 23, 2013

Searching for bountiful fruit crops in the rain forest, chimpanzees remember past feeding experiences



Neandertals made the first specialized bone tools in Europe

August 12, 2013

Standardized and specialized bone tools made by Neandertals are still in use today [more]


An evolutionary compromise for long tooth preservation

July 24, 2013

During an individual’s lifetime the biomechanical requirements on his or her teeth change [more]


Attractive and successful

July 15, 2013

In bonobos, attractive females are more likely to win conflicts against males [more]

The power of imitation

June 27, 2013

Researchers show that already in infancy imitation promotes a general pro-social orientation toward others and, in early childhood, is a powerful means of social influence in development [more]


"Possibly more devastating than previously thought"

June 20, 2013

Leipzig researchers have published new data on volcanic ash, known as the “Campanian Ignimbrite”, which covered wide parts of Europe



Malaria protection in chimpanzees

May 29, 2013

Researchers found that adult wild chimpanzees have developed a certain immunity against malaria parasites [more]


Material loss protects teeth against fatigue failure

April 24, 2013

Computer simulation shows that the reduction of natural dental wear might be the main cause for widely spread non-carius cervical lesions (the loss of enamel and dentine at the base of the crown) in our teeth [more]


Botanists in the rainforest

April 10, 2013

Chimpanzees use botanical skills to discover fruit [more]


In chimpanzees, hunting and meat-eating is a man’s business

March 25, 2013

Max Planck researchers find stable isotope evidence of meat eating and hunting specialization in adult male chimpanzees [more]


The benefits of social grooming

January 23, 2013

Researchers found that in chimpanzees the hormone oxytocin is likely to play a key role in maintaining social relations with both kin and non-kin cooperation partners [more]


A relative from the Tianyuan Cave

January 21, 2013

Ancient DNA has revealed that humans living some 40,000 years ago in the area near Beijing were likely related to many present-day Asians and Native Americans [more]


Genetic admixture in southern Africa

January 17, 2013

Ancient Khoisan lineages survive in contemporary Bantu groups [more]


Gene flow from India to Australia about 4,000 years ago

January 14, 2013

Long before Europeans settled in Australia humans had migrated from the Indian subcontinent to Australia and mixed with Australian aborigines [more]


Particles of crystalline quartz wear away teeth

January 09, 2013

Study questions informative value of dental microwear for dietary habits of extinct species [more]

Research publications 2012

Neanderthals meet Homo sapiens

October 29, 2012

New high precision radiocarbon dates of bone collagen show that a cultural exchange may have taken place between modern humans and Neanderthals more than 40,000 years ago. [more]


Khoisan populations developed differentially

October 16, 2012

Genetics reveals the shared history of southern and eastern African hunter-gatherers [more]


Dwindling space for Africa’s great apes

September 25, 2012

The first continent-wide perspective of the distribution of African ape habitat shows dramatic declines in recent years [more]

“Human evolution has become multi-coloured”

August 31, 2012

An interview with Matthias Meyer from the Max Planck Institut of Evolutionary Anthropology about the new analyses of the Denisova genome [more]


Ancient genome reveals its secrets

August 30, 2012

Max Planck researchers describe Denisovan genome, illuminating the relationships between Denisovans and present-day humans [more]


Chimpanzees create social traditions

August 29, 2012

Different chimp communities display various styles of grooming behaviour [more]

Human evolution

August 08, 2012

New Kenyan fossils shed light on the evolution of the genus Homo [more]


Australopithecus sediba had plant foods on the menu

June 27, 2012

For the first time, researchers have found plant remains in the two-million-year-old dental plaque of ancient hominins’ teeth [more]


Bonobo genome completed

June 13, 2012

Max Planck scientists have completed the genome of the bonobo - the final great ape to be sequenced [more]


Chimpanzee cultures differ between neighbors

May 10, 2012

Despite similar ecological conditions neighboring chimpanzee groups use different hammers to crack nuts [more]


Majority-biased learning

April 12, 2012

In humans and chimpanzees knowledge is transmitted within a group by means of a majority principle [more]


Entire genome of extinct human decoded from fossil

February 07, 2012

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, Germany, has completed the genome sequence of a Denisovan, a representative of an Asian group of extinct humans related to Neandertals. [more]


Bonobos' unusual success story

January 23, 2012

Dominant males invest in friendly relationships with females [more]


Great apes make sophisticated decisions

January 03, 2012

Research suggests that great apes are capable of calculating the odds before taking risks [more]

Research publications 2011

I know something you don’t know – and I will tell you!

December 29, 2011

Wild chimpanzees monitor the information available to other chimpanzees and inform their ignorant group members of danger [more]


Follow your nose

December 14, 2011

Compared to Neanderthals, modern humans have a better sense of smell [more]


Law enforcement vital for great ape survival

December 08, 2011

A recent study shows that, over the last two decades, areas with the greatest decrease in African great ape populations are those with no active protection from poaching by forest guards. [more]


Dating the world’s language families

December 02, 2011

An international consortium develops a computerized method for dating when prehistoric languages were spoken [more]


Understanding emotions without language

November 01, 2011

Does understanding emotions depend on the language we speak, or is our perception the same regardless of language and culture? [more]


Peer pressure in preschool children

October 25, 2011

Children as young as four years of age conform their public opinion to the majority [more]


Children prefer cooperation

October 13, 2011

Humans like to work together in solving tasks - chimps don't [more]


Migration: many roads lead to Asia

September 26, 2011

Contrary to what was previously assumed, modern humans may have populated Asia in more than one migration wave [more]


Handier than Homo habilis?

September 08, 2011

The versatile hand of Australopithecus sediba makes a better candidate for an early tool-making hominin than the hand of Homo habilis [more]


Collaboration encourages equal sharing in children but not in chimpanzees

July 20, 2011

Children as young as three years of age share toy rewards equally with a peer, but only when both collaborated in order to gain them. [more]


Early hominin landscape use

June 01, 2011

Approx. 3 million years ago, females rather than males moved from the groups they were born in to new social groups. [more]


Climate change and evolution of Cross River gorillas

April 04, 2011

Two species of gorillas live in central equatorial Africa. Divergence between the Western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and Eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei) began between 0.9 and 1.6 million years ago and now the two species live several hundred kilometres apart. [more]

Research publications 2010

Neither Neandertal nor modern human

December 23, 2010

Genome of extinct Siberian hominin sheds new light on modern human origins [more]


A long childhood is of advantage

November 15, 2010

Synchrotron reveals human children outpaced Neanderthals by slowing down [more]


The brains of Neanderthals and modern humans developed differently

November 08, 2010

Theses differences are likely to contribute to cognitive differences between modern humans and Neanderthals [more]


Comparative genomics of higher primates

October 18, 2010

Understanding what makes us different from other species might help us tackle human-specific diseases. [more]


Modern man meets Neanderthal

October 15, 2010

Ten years after analyzing the human genome scientists have unravelled the DNA of the Neanderthals. The result: Homo sapiens and Neanderthals intermingled. Thus, there is a bit of Neanderthal in most of us. [more]


Mothers matter!

September 01, 2010

High social status and maternal support play an important role in the mating success of male bonobos [more]


Oldest evidence of human stone tool use and meat-eating found

August 12, 2010

New finds from Dikika, Ethiopia, push back the first stone tool use and meat-consumption by almost one million years [more]


The Neandertal in us

May 06, 2010

Analysis of the Neandertal genome indicates that, contrary to previous beliefs, humans and Neandertals interbred [more]


New form of human discovered

March 24, 2010

Max Planck scientists decode the mitochondrial genome of a previously unknown hominin from the mountains of Central Asia [more]


Dogs can read thoughts

March 01, 2010

Dogs recognize humans as individuals having their own perceptions and feelings [more]

Research publications 2009

More than a jump to the left

December 14, 2009

Study on memory for dance moves discovers substantial cross-cultural diversity in human cognition [more]


Fish on the menu of our ancestors

July 07, 2009

Already 40,000 years ago people fed themselves to a large degree on fish [more]


"You will give birth in pain": Neanderthals too

April 21, 2009

The virtual reconstruction of a Neanderthal woman’s birth canal reveals insights into the evolution of human child birth [more]


Meat for Sex in wild chimpanzees

April 08, 2009

Male chimpanzees that regularly share their food with females are able to mate more often than their stingy fellows [more]


Neanderthal genome completed

February 12, 2009

Max Planck Scientists have completed a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome [more]

Research publications 2008

Mobile Neanderthals

February 15, 2008

40,000 year old tooth provides first evidence of Neanderthal movement [more]


Great Apes endangered by human viruses

January 25, 2008

The opening of gorillas and chimpanzees reserves for tourism is often portrayed as the key to conserving these endangered great apes. There are also however serious concerns that tourism may expose wild apes to infection by virulent human diseases [more]

Research publications 2007

Neanderthal bearing teeth

December 04, 2007

Tooth growth suggests rapid maturation in a Neanderthal child [more]


Red hair and freckles ...

October 26, 2007

Genetic studies show that some Neanderthals may have had red or fair hair and lighter coloured skin [more]


Fair Play in Chimpanzees

October 05, 2007

Unlike humans chimpanzees do not show a willingness to make fair offers and reject unfair ones. [more]


Climate - no smoking gun for Neanderthals

September 13, 2007

New study on role of climate in Neanderthal extinction [more]


Gorillas classified as critically endangered

September 12, 2007

Newly published IUNC list based in part on assessments by experts from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology [more]


How Long is a Child a Child?

March 12, 2007

Research on a Homo sapiens juvenile fossil shows that modern human developmental patterns emerged more than 160,000 years ago [more]


The Chimpanzee Stone Age

February 13, 2007

West African chimpanzees have been cracking nuts with stone tools for thousands of years [more]


Hofmeyr-Skull supports the "Out of Africa"-Theory

January 12, 2007

Dating of skull delivers the first fossil indicator that modern humans evolved in Africa [more]

Research publications 2006

Ebola-outbreak kills 5000 gorillas

December 06, 2006

Vaccination program urgently needed [more]


The first million have been sequenced

November 16, 2006

Max Planck researchers in Leipzig decode one million base pairs of the Neandertal genome [more]


Meet the earliest baby girl ever discovered!

September 21, 2006

Discovery of an Australopithecus afarensis child will help to answer important questions concerning human evolution [more]


How did our Ancestors' Minds really work?

September 05, 2006

Max Planck researchers have used psychological research techniques to successfully reconstruct primeval cognition [more]

Neandertal Genome to be Deciphered

July 20, 2006

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and 454 Life Sciences Corporation unveil plan to sequence the Neandertal Genome [more]


Chimpanzee cooperators

March 02, 2006

Chimpanzees recognized when collaboration was necessary and chose the best collaborative partner [more]


Baby’s helping hands

March 02, 2006

First evidence for altruistic behaviours in human infants and chimpanzees [more]


In spite of ourselves

January 18, 2006

Humans have a strong desire to help each other, but is spite also part of the human condition? [more]

Research publications 2005

Ebola threatens apes in Africa

October 25, 2005

Max Planck researchers in Leipzig, Germany, discover that Ebola Zaire is spreading like a wave across central Africa [more]


"The World Atlas of Language Structures" Published

August 01, 2005

Max Planck scientists in Leipzig unveil one-of-a-kind documentation of world’s linguistic diversity / Surprising degree of grammatical borrowing between languages. [more]


Oldest Fossil Protein Sequenced

March 08, 2005

Protein sequence from Neanderthal extracted and sequenced [more]


Natural selection as we speak

February 18, 2005

Shared properties of human languages are not the result of universal grammar but reflect self-organizing properties of language as an evolving system [more]

Research publications 2004

Trip to our Ancestors

February 03, 2004

Paleoanthropology and -archaeology becomes another main focus at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig [more]

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