New Human Species Discovered

The remains of unknown human species have been discovered in southern China, in Red Deer Cave area. The bones are believed to come from at least five individuals and they have been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago. Scientists are calling them the Red Deer Cave people. Detailed analysis will be made to determine whether these individuals are members of human lineage.

One of research team members is Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales, Australia and he stated for BBC News that scientists are very careful about classifying them in this early stage. Nowadays there isn’t a  generally agreed, biological definition for Homo sapiens which is our species.

Some remains of the individuals were discovered in Maludong (Red Deer Cave), near the city of Mengzi in Yunnan Province. Another skeleton came from Longlin area, near Guangxi Province.  Because the skulls and teeth from the two locations are very similar, scientists believe they belong to the same population.

This individuals present distinct features from those of a modern human. They have archaic but also modern characteristics.

The Red Deer Cave people had rounded skulls, with quite thick bones and prominent brow ridges. Their had flat, short faces and quite large noses.

Using Computed Tomography (X-ray) scans of their brain cavities scientists discovered that they had modern frontal lobes but archaic anterior, or parietal, lobes. They also had large molar teeth. Now scientists believe that three possibilities should be considered:

1. These individuals represent a very early migration of a primitive-looking Homo sapiens that lived separately from other forms in Asia before dying out.

2. They were indeed a distinct Homo species that evolved in Asia and lived alongside our own species (Homo sapiens) until remarkably recently.

3. They could be hybrids of modern and archaic humans.

 DNA analysis are being performed from the remains that could yield information about interbreeding, just as on the Neanderthals and an enigmatic group of people from Siberia known as the Denisovans.

The discovery of Red Deer Cave people is important in unveiling unknown parts of human history, migration and evolution.

The Red Deer People were living in China, during  the end of the Stone Age. It is known that the East China was occupied during that time by modern looking humans that were making pottery to store food and they were also harvesting wild rice. The way the two humanoid species interacted with each other remains yet unknown.

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