The World Is Our Niche

Our unique adaptability may explain why we’re the last humans on Earth.

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Humans have gone where no ape has gone before. Unlike our closest primate cousins, who are confined to the tropics, Homo sapiens inhabit all corners of the planet, including harsh deserts, oxygen-thin altitudes and Arctic lands. “People just don’t seem to have a lot of constraints on where they could live,” says Brian Stewart, an archaeologist at the University of Michigan. Which is odd, ecologically speaking. Most animals stick to particular habitats, related to where the...
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