Scientists have discovered a number of four ancient humans this century. Homo luzonensis is the most recent addition to the genus of Homo after scientists researching the Philippine island of Luzon discovered bones and teeth there. The discovery was first reported in the nature Journal in early April 2019.
The other human species are Denisovans, Homo floresiensis and Homo naledi and they all have been discovered this century alone by scientists. In addition to that, at least a dozen species of humans have been identified by scientists outside of Homo sapiens — modern humans —. Moreover, their respective relationship with modern humans is highly considered and debated in the community of scientists.
The main topic the scientists are revolving around consists of whether these other species were entirely separate species, sub-species or direct ancestral species from modern humans. Homo luzonensis, according to scientists, co-existed with Homo neanderthalensis ( also known as Neanderthals ) and modern humans among other human species.
New ancient humans species are being unearthed
Florent Détroit, the lead author of the journal, told the Guardian that the discovery had provided the latest challenge to the reasonably straightforward prevalent narrative of human evolution. The spread of humans is being dated by the traditional accounts to some 1.5 million years ago, when Homo erectus, left Africa. Future human species including Homo sapiens, according to this narrative, decided to leave Africa as well, but several hundred thousand years later.
“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.”
It is interesting to see how much insight we can get on a topic from a couple of human remains from the past.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.