My human evolution blog site. (Also see my sister blog dedicated to travels around France, Quel Maillon Qui Manque ?)

It sounds simple, but it’s taken me long enough to get here. From nearly studying Chemistry and French at university in 2010, to graduating in Biology and Earth Science in June 2013.

This is a blog about primates, the trail(s) leading to humanity and humans (separate things – [I know, right!?]) and the main players in guiding this journey.
I’ll try to post weekly updates to coincide with #fossilfriday.

It really started in July 2012 when I volunteered at the treasure trove which is the Powell-Cotton Museum in Kent, creating a public-friendly interpretation of the scientific research carried out on its natural history collection. A passion for public communication of knowledge was born.
In summer 2013 I volunteered at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff leading family learning activities to get young children (and their parents/grandparents/associated adults) interested in science and archaeology.

Thanks to an Archaeology module which found its way into my degree, and a fascinating book, I studied MSc Human Evolution at Hull York Medical School (HYMS website; Wikipedia) based at the University of York. A golden opportunity, you might say, to combine my enthusiasm for anatomy, evolution, the scientific method and public information.

Travel with me (quite literally, here) and we’ll learn about the evolution of man together. Who could ask for more?

– James.

p.s. You can also follow me on Twitter! (Link is just to the right, below the giant picture of my face). Also check out my archive while you’re there, and see who else is blogging interesting sciencey titbits).



  1. Hi James,
    I am a midwife, researcher and propose an approach to breastfeeding called biological nurturing. We have always taught mothers to breastfeed their babies sitting bolt upright yet my research suggests that laid-back or semi-reclined positions are more comfortable and use gravity. In semi-reclined maternal positions, babies feed on their tummies like other quadrupeds highlighting a positional paradox whereby mothers are bipedal, babies are indeed quadrupeds for about the first year. Your figure 1 appears to support this theory. Can I cite your theories and use figure 1 in my presentations and the new edition of my book?

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      You’ll have to forgive me, it’s getting on for 4 years since I wrote anything related to human evolution or anatomy and I can’t remember speicifically which post you’re on about. Which figure and post are you looking at?
      As a general rule, if it looks like a textbook diagram then you can use the image yourself, as long as you credit the original source as I have done in the post. If want to reference my own words, please direct me to the post and I can check that I’m still happy with what I said.
      I should tell you that I am not an active researcher in any field, and was a student when I wrote the post. Any thoughts of mine that you do quote should please make it clear that they are simply the opinion of a student and, as such, may not represent a valid scientific hypothesis or theory.

      – James.

      1. Hi James,
        Thanks for your response. Your post was dated March 28 2014 under the title of Upright Walking a long standing debate pt IV. It is figure 3 that interests me and yes I see the credit to Stern 2003. In fact I only wanted to show that the baby’s spine was different from the adult and if I understand your reply, I can do this referencing Stern 2003 without asking his permission??
        Thanks for your help and Happy New Year.


      2. Hi Suzanne, thanks for the information! Yes indeed, you can do this without directly asking permission.
        The full reference, which can go at the bottom of your article, is here:
        Stern, J. (2003). Essentials of Gross Anatomy. Journal of anatomy (pp. 648). New York: F. A. Davis & Co. Freely available.

        Thanks for taking the time to check this – a lot of people wouldn’t even question using a picture without referencing its origin. I hope it proves useful for your site – you’re addressing a very important topic.

        Best wishes,

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