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

Henderson Avenue fire second in two days under investigation for suspicious circumstances

Unrelated fire on 8th Avenue Monday also under investigation

Fire in abandoned house deemed suspicious, RCMP say

Recent reports of squatters coming and going from the home

Campbell River man in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 by Monday afternoon

Campbell River firefighters respond to four structure fires in a week

North Campbell River fire deemed ‘suspicious’

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Tsilhqot’in Nation urges Taseko Mines to stop drilling plans before conflict grows

Nation said Teztan Biny area is of ‘profound cultural and spiritual importance’

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Stz’uminus dies from injuries

A male pedestrian was struck in the early morning of June 25

Mother of NHLer Carey Price elected chief of B.C. First Nation

Lynda Price previously served as chief of Ulkatcho First Nation from 2005-2009

Most Read