|Ana Verayo |||Dec 18, 2015 06:40 AM EST|
(Photo : Peter Schouten/UNSW) Artist's reconstruction of a Red Deer Cave man.
Scientists have finally determined a new ancient human species based on a mysterious thigh bone discovered inside a cave in China. This 14,000 year old bone was uncovered in 1989 in Red Deer Cave in Maludong, where this bone along with many other fossils were not analyzed and studied until 2012.
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This bone consists of a partial femur that is younger in age than previously thought, since it appears old that is similar to older species of Homo habilis and early Homo erectus from 1.5 million years ago.
According to co-author of the study, Ji Xueping of the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the bone's young age is suggesting that primitive humans survived until late into evolution. These primitive humans vanished soon after modern humans migrated to the region where this new bone is suggesting that there is another primitive human apart from the Neanderthals and Denisovans who survived from the last Ice Age.
According to co-author of the study, Darren Curnoe of the University of New South Wales, this new discovery can provide clues about the existence of a new pre-modern human species that would have overlapped with modern humans on mainland East Asia where further study is needed in regards to finding more bone evidence.
This thigh bone is somewhat small which also possesses a thin shaft similar to Homo habilis bones that existed some 1.5 to 2.8 million years ago. This would mean that this primitive man only weighed about 110 pounds which is smaller than the usual pre-modern and Ice Age human.
In this new study, researchers now believe that there could be more different types of humans that could have thrived in southwestern China than first thought. Ji says that the unique environment and climate in the region that resulted from a rise of the Tibetan Plateau, was conducive for human diversity where pre-modern humans existed until late.
Researchers now aim to answer who are these mysterious Stone Age people in China and why did they survive until late in this tropical southwestern region.
This new study is published in the journal, PLoS ONE.
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