Saturday, 19 December 2015

‘Red Deer Cave People’ Bone Shows Link with an Archaic Human Species

Some of this progress stems from major advances in fields like ancient genomics, while much has resulted from new fossil and archaeological discoveries made in Africa and China.  What's interested me the most has been the discovery of archaic humans
A joint team led by Associate Professor Darren Curnoe from UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales) and Professor Ji Xueping from the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology has discovered 14,000-year-old thigh bone in China. The fossilized femur bone is thought to have link with ancient humans species that became long extinct by the time this person walked on Earth. Scientists said that if their assumptions are true, then the thigh bone is expected to revolutionize current concepts of human evolution.
In a paper published Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers noted that the ‘Red Deer Cave People’ bone represents a population of ancient humans that lived surprisingly recently. As per the current scenario, Homo sapiens are the only humans considered to walk the Earth, but it has not always been that way as at times, ancient human species like Neanderthals, Denisovans, H. erectus, and H. habilis, overlapped.
The latest findings seem to be controversial as it was believed that the youngest pre-modern humans on mainland Eurasia, the Neanderthals, our closest cousins, lived about 40,000 years ago, soon after modern humans entered the region. Researchers found that the bone of the ‘Red Deer Cave People’ matched those from species like Homo habilis and early Homo erectus that lived more than 1.5 million years ago, but are cautious about its identity. Curnoe said that till now it was thought that archaic humans on mainland Asia had survived no later than around 100,000 years ago. So, it seems really surprising to find a human bone that date back to only 14,000 years ago.