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Previously unknown human species found in Asia raises questions about early hominin dispersals from Africa

Homo sapiens is the only living species of a diverse group called hominins (members of the human family tree who are more closely related to each other than they are to chimpanzees and bonobos). Most extinct hominin species are not our direct ancestors, but instead are close relatives with evolutionary histories that took a slightly different path from ours. Writing in Nature, Détroit et al.1 report the remarkable discovery of one such human relative that will no doubt ignite plenty of scientific debate over the coming weeks, months and years. This newly identified species was found in the Philippines and named Homo luzonensis after Luzon, the island where bones and teeth from individuals of this species were excavated from Callao Cave. Specimens of H. luzonensis were dated to minimum ages of 50,000 and 67,000 years old, which suggests that the species was alive at the same time as several other hominins belonging to the genus Homo, including Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo floresiensis.

Read the entire article here: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01019-7

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