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Homo luzonensis: New early human species found in Philippines

Date: 12 April 2019 Tags: Biotechnology

Scientists have discovered new species of ancient human during excavations in Callao Cave in Luzon island, Philippines. It is named Homo luzonensis and is dated to 67,000 years BC (Late Pleistocene period). This discovery claims finding to be the ‘earliest direct evidence of human presence in the Philippines’.

Excavation Findings

  • Presence of two adults and one child based on findings of seven teeth, two hand bones, three foot bones and one thigh bone was found during exactions.
  • The fossils suggest that this species was less than 4 ft tall. It makes shorter than earlier discovered another ancient species called Homo floresiensis, sometimes called the “hobbit”.
  • The curved toe bone of this species found during excavation, closely resembling anatomy of Australopithecus, which is known to have been existing in Africa about 2-3 million years ago.

Significance of newest discovery

These newly discovered specimens display combination of primitive and derived morphological features which are different from combination of features found in other species in genus Homo (including Homo floresiensis and Homo sapiens) and warrants their attribution to a new species.

It challenges fairly straightforward idea of human evolution. The traditional narrative suggests that homo sapiens evolved from ancient species of homo erectus in Africa and dispersed from there around 50,000 years ago. With new finding, it becomes clear that homo sapiens were definitely coexisting with other human species in other parts of the globe.