New human species discovered in Philippines cave

  
By:  freefaller  •  3 months ago  •  26 comments

New human species discovered in Philippines cave

Fossil bones and teeth found in the Philippines have revealed a long-lost cousin of modern people, which evidently lived around the time our own species was spreading from Africa to occupy the rest of the world.  It’s yet another reminder that, although Homo sapiens is now the only surviving member of our branch of the evolutionary tree, we’ve had company for most of our existence.




And it makes our understanding of human evolution in Asia “messier, more complicated and whole lot more interesting,” says one expert, Matthew Tocheri of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.




In a study released Wednesday by the journal Nature, scientists describe a cache of seven teeth and six bones from the feet, hands and thigh of at least three individuals. They were recovered from Callao Cave on the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Tests on two samples show minimum ages of 50,000 years and 67,000 years.  The main exodus of our own species from Africa that all of today’s non-African people are descended from took place around 60,000 years ago.  Analysis of the bones from Luzon led the study authors to conclude they belonged to a previously unknown member of our “Homo” branch of the family tree. One of the toe bones and the overall pattern of tooth shapes and sizes differ from what’s been seen before in the Homo family, the researchers said.  They dubbed the creature Homo luzonensis.  It apparently used stone tools and its small teeth suggest it might have been rather small-bodied, said one of the study authors, Florent Detroit of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

H. luzonensis lived in eastern Asia at around the same time as not only our species but other members of the Homo branch, including Neanderthals, their little-understood Siberian cousins the Denisovans, and the diminutive “hobbits” of the island of Flores in Indonesia.  There’s no sign that H. luzonensis encountered any other member of the Homo group, Detroit said in an email. Our species isn’t known to have reached the Philippines until thousands of years after the age of the bones, he said.

But some human relative was on Luzon more than 700,000 years ago, as indicated by the presence of stone tools and a butchered rhino dating to that time, he said. It might have been the newfound species or an ancestor of it, he said in an email.  Detroit said it’s not clear how H. luzonensis is related to other species of Homo. He speculated that it might have descended from an earlier human relative, Homo erectus, that somehow crossed the sea to Luzon.  H. erectus is generally considered the first Homo species to have expanded beyond Africa, and it plays a prominent role in the conventional wisdom about evolution outside that continent. Some scientists have suggested that the hobbits on the Indonesian island are descended from H. erectus.

Tocheri, who did not participate it the new report, agreed that both H. luzonensis and the hobbits may have descended from H. erectus. But he said the Philippines discovery gives new credence to an alternate view: Maybe some unknown creature other than H. erectus also slipped out of Africa and into Europe and Asia, and later gave rise to both island species.  After all, he said in an interview, remains of the hobbits and H. luzonensis show a mix of primitive and more modern traits that differ from what’s seen in H. erectus. They look more like what one what might find in Africa 1.5 to 2.5 million years ago, and which might have been carried out of that continent by the mystery species, he said.

The discovery of a new human relative on Luzon might be “smoke from a much, much bigger fire,” he said.  Michael Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, said the Luzon find “shows we still know very little about human evolution, particularly in Asia.”

More such discoveries will probably emerge with further work in the region, which is under-studied, he said in an email.

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Freefaller
1  author  Freefaller    3 months ago

Lol and humanity's history on this planet gets even more complex.

Best of luck to the scientists/researchers working on this and I hope more info is to follow

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2  Trout Giggles    3 months ago

Good articcle

 
 
 
Freefaller
2.1  author  Freefaller  replied to  Trout Giggles @2    3 months ago

Thanks I love interesting stuff like this

 
 
 
epistte
3  epistte    3 months ago

Religious conservatives will respond by saying that since the Bible didn't mention it, this cannot be true. Those bones were put there by Satan to trick believers.

I want intellectual property royalties if AIG uses that statement in their press release. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1  Gordy327  replied to  epistte @3    3 months ago
Religious conservatives will respond by saying that since the Bible didn't mention it, this cannot be true. Those bones were put there by Satan to trick believers.

Yeah, they'll declare this "pseudoscience."

I want intellectual property royalties if AIG uses that statement in their press release.

They probably used that statement before, so they beat you to the punch.

 
 
 
epistte
3.1.1  epistte  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1    3 months ago

Did you ever notice that the Bible is limited to historical fiction of about 400 miles in any direction from Jerusalem? 

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  epistte @3.1.1    3 months ago

Key word in there is fiction.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
3.2  r.t..b...  replied to  epistte @3    3 months ago
Those bones were put there by Satan to trick believers.

Hey, doesn't the animated flick 'Missing Link' premier this weekend? 

 
 
 
epistte
3.2.1  epistte  replied to  r.t..b... @3.2    3 months ago
Hey, doesn't the animated flick 'Missing Link' premier this weekend? 

I have no idea.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.3  MUVA  replied to  epistte @3    3 months ago

You may want to wait for they actually believe before you speak for them.

 
 
 
epistte
3.3.1  epistte  replied to  MUVA @3.3    3 months ago
You may want to wait for they before you speak for them.

Why would I want to speak to them? My stress level is already high enough because I am forced to deal with too many people who treat logic as a foreign language.   The religious nuts are out enmass because this is holy week. 

 
 
 
KDMichigan
3.3.2  KDMichigan  replied to  epistte @3.3.1    3 months ago
My stress level is already high enough

Is that why you turned a scientific article into one about bashing conservatives and religious people?

Do you invite Jehovah Witness members to your house so you can complain about them knocking on your door to?

 
 
 
epistte
3.3.3  epistte  replied to  KDMichigan @3.3.2    3 months ago
Is that why you turned a scientific article into one about bashing conservatives and religious people?

Because of their past history of denying any anthropological discoveries that aren't mentioned in their bible. If they don't like being satirized then maybe they should stop doing it because my free speech rights don't stop at the front door of their church. 

Do you invite Jehovah Witness members to your house so you can complain about them knocking on your door to?

I don't answer the door for JW, Mormons, and Nazarenes, among a few others. I have a sign on the door but they don't think that it applies to them because they are trying to save my Humanist life from their loving god's eternal BBQ. 

 
 
 
MUVA
3.4  MUVA  replied to  epistte @3    3 months ago

Are you a mind reader?I think I maybe I knew some secular progressive would come out with some BS telling people what they believe.

 
 
 
MUVA
4  MUVA    3 months ago

How does a scientific findings turn into a seed slamming religious people well wait and see.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.1  Gordy327  replied to  MUVA @4    3 months ago

Because certain religious people or groups have a history of denying or ignoring and actively advocating willful ignorance instead of science  in favor of dogmatic nonsense.

 
 
 
MUVA
4.1.1  MUVA  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1    3 months ago

No it is call disdain for people you disagree with. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  MUVA @4.1.1    3 months ago

You are entitled to your opinion even if it's wrong.

 
 
 
Freefaller
4.2  author  Freefaller  replied to  MUVA @4    3 months ago

Yeah I'm not particularly happy that happened either but since it's not completely off topic (imo) I have to let the posts remain.

 
 
 
Kavika
5  Kavika     3 months ago

Great article, the more discoveries the more questions....I love it.

This discovery sure puts into question the ''settling'' of the Pacific...

 
 
 
Freefaller
5.1  author  Freefaller  replied to  Kavika @5    3 months ago
This discovery sure puts into question the ''settling'' of the Pacific...

It certainly does, so far we have Homo Sapiens, Homo Luzonensis, Homo Florensis, Homo Erectus in that area alone, how many more offshoots have there been?  I can't wait to see what future discovery's find.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Freefaller @5.1    3 months ago

Wasn't there a Homo Australias (please forgive the spelling)

 
 
 
Freefaller
5.1.2  author  Freefaller  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1.1    3 months ago

TG no problem, however as Australopithecus was a lot earlier in our lineage (4m-2m years ago), never left Africa and predates Homo evolution I did not include it.  But you are absolutely correct worldwide there were a bunch of other H. types. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.1.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Freefaller @5.1.2    3 months ago

Australopithecus....that's it!

But I'm glad you knew what I was talking about. And since Kav mentioned the Pacific I thought of that one, because I consider Australia the Pacific Rim

 
 
 
Tacos!
6  Tacos!    3 months ago

Well, it's interesting, but it seems premature to assign much significance to it. It seems to raise more questions than answers. Words like "probably," "speculate, " "might have been," "suggested," "believe" and "looks like" appear an awful lot in the story. It wouldn't be the first time a "new species" turned out to be simply the first female or a juvenile of a already known species was found.

 
 
 
Freefaller
6.1  author  Freefaller  replied to  Tacos! @6    3 months ago
Well, it's interesting, but it seems premature to assign much significance to it.

Absolutely agree, much more study is needed before this gets accepted as mainstream

It seems to raise more questions than answers.

Lol yeah that happens a lot in science, but heck it's an interesting ride finding those questions

It wouldn't be the first time a "new species" turned out to be simply the first female or a juvenile of a already known species was found.

Or even a complete fake, but finding out is part of the adventure

 
 
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