This 2015 picture provided by Kinez Riza shows a reconstruction model of Homo floresiensis by Atelier Elisabeth Daynes at Sangiran Museum and the Early Man Site. In a paper released Wednesday, June 8, 2016, researchers say newly-discovered teeth and a jaw fragment, which are about 700,000 years old, have revealed ancestors of Homo floresiensis, also known as hobbits, our extinct, 3 1/2-foot-tall evolutionary cousins. The fossils were excavated about 46 miles from the cave where the first hobbit remains were found in Indonesia. (Kinez Riza via AP)

Number of ancient humans continues to grow after discovery

Scientists identify at least 12 species outside of Homo sapians following discovery in Philippines

Four.

That is the current number of ancient humans, which scientists have discovered this century. The most recent addition to genus of Homo goes by the name of Homo luzonensis after the Philippine island of Luzon, where scientists discovered teeth and bones with the discovery first reported in early April 2019 in the nature Journal.

Homo floresiensis, Denisovans, and Homo naledi are the names of the other human species, which scientists have discovered this century alone. Overall, scientists have identified at least a dozen species of humans outside of Homo sapiens — modern humans — and the scholarship brims with various controversies about their respective relationship with modern humans.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Ancient B.C. footprints confirmed as earliest known in North America

Broadly speaking, they revolve around whether these other species were direct ancestral species, sub-species or entirely separate species from modern humans. According to scientists, Homo luzonensis co-existed with Homo neanderthalensis — Neanderthals — and modern humans among other human species.

The journal’s lead author Florent Détroit told the Guardian that the discovery provided the “latest challenge to the fairly straightforward prevalent narrative of human evolution.” Traditional accounts date the spread of humans to some 1.5 million years ago, when Homo erectus, left Africa. According to this narrative, future human species including Homo sapiens left Africa several hundred thousand years later.

READ MORE: Ancient fossil discovered off coast of Vancouver Island

“We now know that it was a much more complex evolutionary history, with several distinct species contemporaneous with Homo sapiens, interbreeding events, extinctions,” Détroit told the Guardian. “Homo luzonensis is one of those species and we will [increasingly see] that a few thousand years back in time, Homo sapiens was definitely not alone on Earth.”

Geneticists like David Reich and Johannes Krause continue to supply ample evidence for this theory by sampling the DNA of ancient humans. This scholarship has discovered among other points that all modern non-African human populations carry some genetic traces of Neanderthal, with estimates ranging between 1.8 per cent and 2.6 per cent of DNA inherited from Neanderthals.

READ MORE: Human bones found on Cadboro Bay construction site

This work has also revolutionized human archeology. It has found, for example, that humans of European ancestry actually bear the genetic imprint of three distinct groups: ancient hunter-gatherers by way of Africa with dark skin but blue eyes; lighter-skinned migrants from the Middle East; and migrants from the Ponto-Caspian steppe rimming the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.

More broadly, it has confirmed that the concept of ‘race’ is a social construction rather than a scientific category.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

Horse carriage supporters to rally outside city hall

Owner of carriage company plans rally in response to Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion

Cyclists and drivers take to the streets Wednesday morning in first official Bike to Work Week celebration

The 25th annual Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week kicks off the followingMonday, May 27

Art and fashion collide for a cause at the Union Club of Victoria

May 26 event benefits Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibitions and educational programs

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

‘Conservation financing’ could stop old-growth logging

Reader says with this type of financing province recognizes the benefit of forests

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Mamma Mia! Here we go again at Sooke’s EMCS theatre

Production of Mamma Mi! features ABBA tunes that leave you humming

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Most Read