Feeds

Chinese fossil analysis suggests new hominid species

Chinless wonders walked 12,000 years ago

Application security programs and practises

Details on what could be a new species of human based in East Asia have been discovered by archeologists, and could alter our understanding of the spread of humanity across the planet.

Scientists have published an open paper detailing the analysis of the remains of three individuals discovered at the Maludong (or Red Deer Cave), in China's Yunnan province, in 1989 and a partial skeleton found at Longlin, in neighboring Guangxi province, in 1979. They contain a curious mix of modern and archaic body types, including the frontal skull lobes found in modern humans but lacking an appreciable chin.

Meet the Red Deer ancestors

New species or cross-breed?

"These new fossils might be of a previously unknown species, one that survived until the very end of the Ice Age around 11,000 years ago," says Professor Curnoe in a statement. "Alternatively, they might represent a very early and previously unknown migration of modern humans out of Africa, a population who may not have contributed genetically to living people."

Dubbed the Red Deer Cave people, after the animal bones more prevalent in the cave systems, their fossils are now being analyzed to see if DNA can be extracted that would give more clues as to their relationship with modern man. It may be that this is a new branch of the Homo sapiens family tree, or even that the remains are the product of interbreeding between archaic and modern man.

Red Deer people skulls

DNA analysis needed of humanoid bones

So far, no fossils younger than 100,000 years old have been found in mainland East Asia resembling any species other than Homo sapiens, so if this is a new species it would write the assumption that the land was empty until we trundled along. The finds may also be relevant to the continuing controversy over the Flores "hobbits."

"The discovery of the red-deer people opens the next chapter in the human evolutionary story – the Asian chapter – and it's a story that's just beginning to be told," says Professor Curnoe. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.