Discussion:
50,000 year old fossils of Philippine human ancestor found.
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Horace LaBadie
2019-04-11 01:56:03 UTC
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Previously unknown homo species found on Luzon, The Philippines.

<https://phys.org/news/2019-04-species-early-human-philippines.html>

"An international team of researchers have uncovered the remains of a
new species of human in the Philippines, proving the region played a key
role in hominin evolutionary history.

The new species, Homo luzonensis is named after Luzon Island, where the
more than 50,000 year old fossils were found during excavations at
Callao Cave.

Co-author and a lead member of the team, Professor Philip Piper from The
Australian National University (ANU) says the findings represent a major
breakthrough in our understanding of human evolution across Southeast
Asia.

The researchers uncovered the remains of at least two adults and one
juvenile within the same archaeological deposits.

"The fossil remains included adult finger and toe bones, as well as
teeth. We also recovered a child's femur. There are some really
interesting features for example, the teeth are really small,"
Professor Piper said.

"The size of the teeth generally, though not always, reflect the overall
body-size of a mammal, so we think Homo luzonensis was probably
relatively small. Exactly how small we don't know yet. We would need to
find some skeletal elements from which we could measure body-size more
precisely.

"It's quite incredible, the extremities, that is the hand and feet bones
are remarkably Australopithecine-like. The Australopithecines last
walked the earth in Africa about 2 million years ago and are considered
to be the ancestors of the Homo group, which includes modern humans."

[...]

"Homo luzonensis shares some unique skeletal features with the famous
Homo floresiensis or 'the hobbit', discovered on the island of Flores to
the south east of the Philippine archipelago.

In addition, stone tools dating to around 200,000 years ago have been
found on the island of Sulawesi, meaning that ancient hominins
potentially inhabited many of the large islands of Southeast Asia."
JTEM
2019-04-11 03:05:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Horace LaBadie
"The size of the teeth generally, though not always, reflect the overall
body-size of a mammal, so we think Homo luzonensis was probably
relatively small.
[...]
Post by Horace LaBadie
"It's quite incredible, the extremities, that is the hand and feet bones
are remarkably Australopithecine-like.
Why does this remind me so much of the Hobbits of Flores?

Oh, that's right, now I remember...

http://johnhawks.net/weblog/fossils/flores/liang_bua.html

Or even this:

: Dr. Jungers has demonstrated many anatomical features of the "hobbit"
: foot that are shared with African apes and early hominins like
: Australopithecus afarensis

http://humanorigins.si.edu/research/asian-research-projects/hobbits-flores-indonesia

So I don't know why the immediate reaction would be to label it a
"New species," if if it appears different from hobbit finds, as the
distances, time scales and regional variation could easily account
for any differences we care to imagine...

Put short: Looks like those theories that the hobbit was wide spread
were right!

You folks know who you are so pat yourselves on the back for this
one!







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