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Discovery of ‘Dragon Man’ skull in China prompts rethink of human evolution

A new species of ancient human dubbed Homo longi, or “Dragon Person,” could perhaps change the way we realize human evolution, researchers reported Friday.

Scientists explained in their conclusions, revealed Friday as 3 different papers in the journal The Innovation, that Homo longi could swap Neanderthals as the closest relative to our own species, Homo sapiens. The discovery of the new species is related to a cranium recognized as the Harbin cranium, a fossil considered to have been identified many years back but only not long ago examined.

“It is widely believed that the Neanderthal belongs to an extinct lineage that is the closest relative of our own species,” Xijun Ni, a professor of primatology and paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Hebei GEO College, and author of two of the papers, explained to The Connected Push.

A portrait of “Dragon Gentleman” in his habitat.Chuang Zhao

“On the other hand, our discovery implies that the new lineage we recognized that contains Homo longi is the true sister team of Homo sapiens.”

The Harbin cranium “also exhibits other functions resembling our species,” Chris Stringer, a different of the authors, reported in a news release about the conclusions from London’s Natural History Museum, exactly where he functions as a investigation chief.

“It has flat and very low cheekbones with a shallow canine fossa, and the experience seems to be reduced and tucked less than the mind circumstance,” he added.

The title “Dragon Man” is derived from the geographic identify Extended Jiang, which is usually applied for the Heilongjiang province and pretty much means “dragon river,” according to the study performed by an global crew and led by Qiang Ji, a professor at Hebei Geo University in China.

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It included that the cranium, which is about 9 inches prolonged and additional than 6 inches broad, is big more than enough to maintain a mind that is identical in sizing to that of a modern day human — all around 3 lbs (1,420ml) in brain volume. Researchers feel it belonged to a male, aged about 50.

The cranium is considered to have been discovered in 1933 when a bridge was created over the Songhua River in Harbin Metropolis, in China’s Heilongjiang province, the study said, adding that details about the actual web-site was shed for the reason that of its “extensive and confused heritage.”

Junyi Ge, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a person of the study’s workforce customers, reported they ended up “quite confident” that it was more than 146,000 yrs previous.

Scientists described an pretty much finish archaic human cranium recovered from northeastern China that implies a new sister lineage for Homo sapiens.Mr. Wei Gao / Chuang Zhao

While it has been described by the analysis workforce as a new species, in a independent job interview with the U.K.’s Press Association, Stringer claimed he agreed that the skull bore a resemblance to a different fossil belonging to Homo daliensis, one more kind of historical human.

“Regardless of that, the morphology of the fossil is extremely instructive about later human evolution,” he included.

The conclusions had been announced hrs following researchers explained they experienced found a new type of early human after studying items of fossilized bone dug up at a web page utilized by a cement plant in central Israel.

Nesher Ramla Homo — named immediately after the position southeast of Tel Aviv exactly where it was discovered — might have lived alongside our species, Homo sapiens, for far more than 100,000 several years, and may have even interbred, scientists reported.

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