“Unearthing Traces of Extinct Ancient Peoples in the Philippines”.nguyen01

 Along with the publication of the first image captured of a black hole, the scientific community received new good news when traces of an ancient, long-extinct human species were discovered in the Philippines.

BBC commented that this discovery adds to the “human tree” system in the evolution of a new species called Homo luzonensis, named after the country’s largest island – Luzon island where the traces were discovered.

This discovery shows that humans from a group in Africa spread to many places in the Asia-Africa continent all the way to Southeast Asia. Previously, scientists had found traces of an ancient human named Homo floresiensis, who lived on the Indonesian island of Flores 50,000 years ago.

Thus, the islands or archipelagos in Southeast Asia could be the habitat of many ancient human species that spread from Africa.

With Homo luzonensis, this ancient human was found in Callao Cave, located in the north of Luzon island with relics dating from 67,000 to 50,000 years ago.

Curved finger bones of ancient humans have just been discovered on the island of Luzon – Photo: FLORENT DETROIT

These relics include 13 remains including teeth, arm and leg bones, and part of the femur belonging to at least 3 adult individuals. Homo luzonensis has physical similarities to recent hominids but otherwise has physical features similar to australopithecines, upright ape-like creatures that lived in Africa about 2 to 4 million years ago. ago, as well as other very early members of the genus Homo.

The finger and toe bones are curved, suggesting that climbing was still an important activity for this newly discovered ancient hominin. This is also a characteristic that has been recorded in australopithecines.

Dental bones of the ancient human species Homo luzonensis – Photo: FLORENT DETROIT

This discovery changes the way we think about human evolution since leaving Africa as a hunter-gatherer.

Homo erectus has long been thought to be the first member of a direct human lineage that spread from Africa – about 1.9 million years ago – to East Asia or Southeast Asia. 

In addition, Luzon is an island that can only be reached by sea. This discovery raises the question of how did ancient humans get here?

Callao Cave, where traces of this new ancient man were discovered – Photo: FLORENT DETROIT

The evolutionary “human tree” shows the time relationship between our species (Homo Sapiens) and the remaining ancient human groups, including the newly discovered Homo luzonensis – Photo: BBC

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