Julien Louys

New analysis of fossils found in Indonesia suggests modern humans may have arrived on the island as early as 73,000 years ago and that they were able to develop technologies sooner than previously thought.

What it means: This is the earliest evidence yet of modern humans living in rainforests and supports recent suggestions that they migrated out of Africa earlier than previously thought. It also suggests they were able to colonize inland, where it requires much more planning and technological innovation to grow food and survive the elements, which some researchers thought individuals at the time weren't advanced enough to do.

The team of researchers re-analyzed two human teeth found in a rainforest cave in the late 19th century and concluded they were from anatomically modern humans who had mastered the necessary tools to survive inland. They were able to use surrounding sediment to date the remains to between 73,000 and 63,000 years old.

Credit: Tanya Smith and Rokus Awe DueCaption: Modern human tooth found in Lida Ajer cave (left top) with its corresponding scanned image (left bottom) compared to an orangutan tooth (right).

Go deeper

Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
57 mins ago - Health

Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!