Scientists in C̳h̳i̳n̳a̳ have discovered a fossil skull belonging to what could be a totally new human species.
A few days ago we reported that a previously unknown species of human – Nesher Ramla Homo – had been unearthed in Israel and now, incredibly, another new human species has been found – this time in C̳h̳i̳n̳a̳.
O̳r̳i̳g̳i̳n̳a̳l̳ly discovered in Harbin, north-east C̳h̳i̳n̳a̳ all the way back in 1933, the fossil skull was practically forgotten about for decades before coming to the attention of scientists.
Nicknamed ‘Dragon Man’, the specimen is now thought to have belonged to a group of humans who lived in East Asia around 146,000 years ago and who were closely related to modern humans.
The species had large square eye sockets, thick brow ridges, a wide mouth and large teeth.
“In terms of fossils in the last million years, this is one of the most important yet discovered,” Prof Chris Stringer from London’s Natural History Museum told BBC News.
“What you have here is a separate branch of humanity that is not on its way to becoming Homo sapiens (our species), but represents a long-separate lineage which evolved in the region for several hundred thousand years and eventually went extinct.”