Discovery of Ancient Humans in the Philippines

Hello!  A few weeks ago, a multitude of articles depicting a recent finding of ancient humans in Callao Cave, in the Philippines, were published.  This species lived on what is now the island of Luzon, likely 50,000 to 70,000 years ago and it is called “Homo Iuzonenis”.  Interestingly, findings seem to suggest

that the species analyzed was much smaller in stature than contemporary humans- likely under four feet tall.  While more research and speculation will likely continue, this finding suggests that there are more wrinkles in our understanding of human evolution than previously thought.

According to National Geographic, a hominin often referred to as the “hobbit” was also relatively recently discovered.  This other species lived on the island Flores in Indonesia.  Callao Cave in the Philippines was already previously explored, but no one had ever bothered to dig more than 1.5 meters in depth at any excavation site.  Digging past the 1.5-meter mark yielded interesting results—bits of bone were found, including the bone of a foot that resembled human feet.  A few years later, a fossil just under 70,000 years old was uncovered, which pointed towards the “Homo Sapien” direction.  Finally,  in 2011 and 2015, teeth as well as more bones were located…it is this deeper dig that managed to unearth the exciting new species of “Homo luzonenis”.

According to many scientists, this latest finding is one of the most exciting discoveries of human evolution in recent years.   This discovery shows that the formerly held belief that modern humans evolved from only several strands of ancient humans, namely homo sapiens and the Neanderthals, is no longer valid.  Several years ago, this notion was already updated by including Denisovans as one more early human species- and just now, more variations of early humans have been found.  This shows that modern humans are based on a much larger variety of early species than ever thought possible.

 

The National Geographic article can be found at this link:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/04/new-species-ancient-human-discovered-luzon-philippines-homo-luzonensis/

The published paper on this topic:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1067-9