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

North Cowichan considers changes to pot shop criteria

Rules around distance from schools, other cannabis shops, proving problematic

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP reports rise in calls for service

Increase of 4.6 per cent over same time last year

MPs call on fisheries minister to allow sport fishing of marked chinook

MacGregor among those citing coastal communities rely on recreational fishing

DeLong running for Conservatives in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

One-time Alberta MLA aims for a seat in Ottawa

Chemainus Harvest House still demands attention in summer

Food bank supplies dwindle with diminished donations

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

B.C. Ferries crew member’s medical emergency causes cancellations on Nanaimo route

One sailing from West Vancouver and one sailing from Nanaimo cancelled Monday

Most Read