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glorybebe

Human fossils hint at new species

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The remains of what may be a previously unknown human species have been identified in southern China.

The bones, which represent at least five individuals, have been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago.

But scientists are calling them simply the Red Deer Cave people, after one of the sites where they were unearthed.

The team has told the PLoS One journal that far more detailed analysis of the fossils is required before they can be ascribed to a new human lineage.

"We're trying to be very careful at this stage about definitely classifying them," said study co-leader Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

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I wonder how many more 'humanoids' are still to be found.

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Looking at the artist's drawing of what this humanoid looked like my first thought was Aboriginal.However,to look at the skull itself I really don't see that.As time goes on I predict many more finds of this kind will be revealed.

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I hope they do turn out to be a new hominid. This article suggests that there is still some doubt.

Hominid evolution is fascinating.

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And we are still struggling with Denisovan remains. How awesome, thanks for this one, it will be one to watch.

Flores, Denisovans Palau and now Red Deer People. Neanderthals are becoming old hat!

What I find truly amazing is the the species made it to a mere 11,500 years ago.

In general, the individuals had rounded brain cases with prominent brow ridges. Their skull bones were quite thick. Their faces were quite short and flat and tucked under the brain, and they had broad noses.

Their jaws jutted forward but they lacked a modern-human-like chin. Computed Tomography (X-ray) scans of their brain cavities indicate they had modern-looking frontal lobes but quite archaic-looking anterior, or parietal, lobes. They also had large molar teeth.

@ Royal, I thought the reconstruction looked more polynesian.

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Hey psyche101,I started out thinking South Pacific,but I just could'nt get Australia{specifically}out of my head. I wonder if some of the prehistory migrations came from further north in Asia to the South Pacific?

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Hey psyche101,I started out thinking South Pacific,but I just could'nt get Australia{specifically}out of my head. I wonder if some of the prehistory migrations came from further north in Asia to the South Pacific?

Hi Royal

Do you mean some bands of peoples, or are you referring to the out of Asia hypothesis?

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I was just reading about these Red Deer Cave people. It sounds like possibly there were pockets of human sub-species all over not too long ago.

I thought the picture looked (except the ears) like someone that would go un-remarked in just about any crowd anywhere.

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I was just reading about these Red Deer Cave people. It sounds like possibly there were pockets of human sub-species all over not too long ago.

I thought the picture looked (except the ears) like someone that would go un-remarked in just about any crowd anywhere.

I agree. Kind of interesting that human's facial features haven't changed THAT much in the last how many thousand years?

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Hi Royal

Do you mean some bands of peoples, or are you referring to the out of Asia hypothesis?

Thats probably a better way of putting it{some bands of peoples}because now that I think about it Australia and Polynesia were reached by modern humans about 40-60,000 years BCE,due to low sea levels during the last ice age.I wonder if some of these hominids could have made this journey also and assimilated into peoples already there?

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Thats probably a better way of putting it{some bands of peoples}because now that I think about it Australia and Polynesia were reached by modern humans about 40-60,000 years BCE,due to low sea levels during the last ice age.I wonder if some of these hominids could have made this journey also and assimilated into peoples already there?

That is most certainly possible - from the link

Dr Curnoe and colleagues put forward two possible scenarios in their PLoS One paper for the origin of the Red Deer Cave population.

One posits that they represent a very early migration of a primitive-looking Homo sapiens that lived separately from other forms in Asia before dying out.

Another possibility contends that they were indeed a distinct Homo species that evolved in Asia and lived alongside our own kind until remarkably recently.

A third scenario being suggested by scientists not connected with the research is that the Red Deer Cave people could be hybrids.

I agree. Kind of interesting that human's facial features haven't changed THAT much in the last how many thousand years?

200 :geek:

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I was just reading about these Red Deer Cave people. It sounds like possibly there were pockets of human sub-species all over not too long ago.

I thought the picture looked (except the ears) like someone that would go un-remarked in just about any crowd anywhere.

There does seem to be many hominids suddenly turning up. I find it remarkable that they all seem to be rather small.

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What would be really interesting would be if one of these side-species was found to be the originator of something like agriculture, animal domestication, or relgion.

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And we are still struggling with Denisovan remains. How awesome, thanks for this one, it will be one to watch.

Flores, Denisovans Palau and now Red Deer People. Neanderthals are becoming old hat!

What I find truly amazing is the the species made it to a mere 11,500 years ago.

In general, the individuals had rounded brain cases with prominent brow ridges. Their skull bones were quite thick. Their faces were quite short and flat and tucked under the brain, and they had broad noses.

Their jaws jutted forward but they lacked a modern-human-like chin. Computed Tomography (X-ray) scans of their brain cavities indicate they had modern-looking frontal lobes but quite archaic-looking anterior, or parietal, lobes. They also had large molar teeth.

@ Royal, I thought the reconstruction looked more polynesian.

I think we need to wait until the DNA is in before we start saying extinct.

When we profiled Neaderthal DNA we discovered most people on Earth have 4$ of their genes in them.

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My link

I wonder how many more 'humanoids' are still to be found.

: It's a mad house! A mad house!

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Posted (edited)

Chance of extracting DNA is pretty slim. Remember we have 27,000 year old homo erectus found in Java we couldn't extract DNA from. Then there is homo floresiensis about 12,000 years ago found in Indoesia we also failed to extract its DNA. If these were found in Germany or Russia it should be a piece of cake. Southeast Asia is hot and humid which is not ideal for preserving DNA. We were able to extract DNA from Neanderthals that were much older. It's really a shame because we have so many hominin living within the last 100,000 years (DNA may survive that long under most ideal conditions). I have to say finding DNA from homo erectus would be the absolute holy grail for paleoanthropology.

I wrote a paper back in 1997 that I believe Out of Africa and Multi-Region theories were both correct to a degree. At the time we have no evidence of latter. But now, we are starting to see the evidence that different homo sapiens living today having different genome inherited from other extinct species. Africans have no Neanderthal genes, while the rest of the world have 1-4%. We also found a small population in Southeast Asia that have 4-6% of genes inherited from Denisova hominin. It would not surprise me if we find that parts of Southeast Asian inherit genes from this Red Cave species, if we are able to extract DNA. No one disputes out-of-Africa theory because we have DNA to prove it. But we know the specific population that carried x percentage of genes from species y. Multi-region scenario is also valid to a degree because we can quantify the theory.

I hope these researchers preserve the fossil well and send them to Max Planck Institute. If anyone can it's them. We missed an opportunity to salvage DNA from homo floresiensis because those who found the mushy fossil were using chemicals to harden the fossil which destroys DNA. At this point we have to value DNA much higher than the actual fossil. Look at Denisovan case. All we have is a pinky. Even though we don't know what that species look like, we know so much by having genome analysis.

My wild guess is that this may be some kind of mix between homo erectus/homo heidelbergensis and homo sapiens. Europe may give us good fossil and DNA preservation, but I don't think we're going to find anything other than Neanderthals or Denisovan species. I think Southeast Asia is a hotspot for human evolution studies. My theory is that because it's the among the last place homo sapiens migrated to, and some parts of the area were still occupied by the pockets of surviving ancient hominin such as homo erectus and its descendants. If they interbred some of the gene may have survived to this day. But we need its DNA to compare to the present population.

Edited by taiwan

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Until DNA is extracted and analyzed, everything we say about this Red Deer species is purely speculation. The truth is we do NOT know what was really going on in Southeast Asia. Any expert in paleoanthropology who claim to know everything is full of it, let alone people like me who are not experts in this subject.

The picture in Southeast Asia is extremely complicated. In addition to what we have in Red Deer Cave, I summarized 4 other key info that will show you how muddy the picture really is.

(1) We have homo erectus surviving as recent as 27,000 years ago in Java. Did homo sapiens interbred with them?

(2) We have homo floresiensis that survived as recent as 12,000 years ago in Indoesia, although I believe along with few other people that these are dwarf homo erectus so this could be lumped into previous bullet.

(3) We also have Denisova species leaving genes in Southeast Asia. Why do I say that when the fossil was found in Russia? 4% and 6% of the genome of Melanesians (represented by the Papua New Guinean and Bougainville Islander) derives from a Denisovan population. Also Australian Aborigines and a small (but not all) population of Negritos also have Denisovan genes. I don't understand why Denisovan genes aren't found elsewhere.

(4) We also have DNA from Lake Mungo Australia that turned out to be extinct subspecies of homo sapien. I don't understand why this is being ignored. I understand the result is being disputed. We don't have data such as when this species diverged with our common ancestor and a re-test seems to be in conflict with local custom. We have genome map from Neanderthal and Denisovan, I'd love to see Mungo man revisited and find out what's in those DNA.

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(4) We also have DNA from Lake Mungo Australia that turned out to be extinct subspecies of homo sapien. I don't understand why this is being ignored. I understand the result is being disputed. We don't have data such as when this species diverged with our common ancestor and a re-test seems to be in conflict with local custom. We have genome map from Neanderthal and Denisovan, I'd love to see Mungo man revisited and find out what's in those DNA.

A tangled web mankind did weave. We're all hybrids! :lol: So be it.

This is interesting about the Australian find because to my knowledge there isn't much in the Australian fossil record on primates or hominids.... that we've found as of yet. With Indonesia and the Australian continent being connected during the last ice age I'm surprised there aren't more primate or hominid fossils found in Australia.

I'm sure the book on mankinds timeline will be re-written many times, before the dust settles, as we discover more about the extent of hominid species radiation. They may have come out of Africa, but something happened in Asia.....

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This is interesting about the Australian find because to my knowledge there isn't much in the Australian fossil record on primates or hominids.... that we've found as of yet. With Indonesia and the Australian continent being connected during the last ice age I'm surprised there aren't more primate or hominid fossils found in Australia.

If you google Lake Mungo DNA you should be able to find many articles. The fossils found were the oldest anatomically modern human in Australia. The test is obstructed by the local custom. I wish they preserve the remain in a fridge if there is future study on the fossil. The DNA is way too valuable to be lost because local aborigines claim rights to it. The DNA analysis showed they aren't even related. But this DNA analysis is being disputed and only a re-test can settle the matter, if the aborigines allow the bones to be tested again.

As I mentioned, condition in Australia is not ideal to preserve DNA. DNA can last up to 100,000 years under perfect condition. But hot and humid environment can degrade it pretty rapidly, completely destroying DNA in few hundred years. The same goes for animal remains. Humidity play the most important part. We're able to find mummified human remains in Gobi deserts because desert is very dry. But in tropical jungle everything decays pretty rapidly, as an extreme example. When we found homo floresiensis, the skulls were in semi-liquid state. Consider that finding to be pure luck. What they did with the liquified remain is what I disagreed with. You can always find more skulls of that species (which they did), but you may never get another crack at extracting DNA if you have a chance to do it.

Being one of the last places homo sapien settled, some ancient hominin may survive there much longer than the rest part of the world. It's still quite possible something will show up in the future. But we may have to fight with the aborigines who present the biggest obstacle to paleoanthropology in Australia. Maybe that's the answer to your question.

Let's hope the Red Deer Cave provided some protection to the fossil. It would be a major break if DNA can be extracted.

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This is great ! Homo-Sweet-n-Souracus !

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I often find the simplest explanation is most likely to be correct.

I propose that the new Red Deer people actually ARE the Denisovans, who have only been identified as separate from DNA in finger bones. Skulls and other bones for Denisovans have not yet been found and confirmed, and these are the only known hominids from this period that are known without good fossil remains.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, an existing known, but poorly evidenced candidate is more probable than a new species.

Mike

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Comeon guys its obvious that these are bigfoot fossils :yes:

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big T, if all this talk of different bi pedal primate species being discovered and discussed freaks you out, it would do you some good to do some research on mankinds timeline. As people who work in this field make more discoveries, the timeline and evolutionary tree of mankind will remain under constant revision. Bigfeets are discussed in the Crypto section. It's been a while, but I'd be more than happy to debate that aspect with you there.

:)

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I often find the simplest explanation is most likely to be correct.

I propose that the new Red Deer people actually ARE the Denisovans, who have only been identified as separate from DNA in finger bones. Skulls and other bones for Denisovans have not yet been found and confirmed, and these are the only known hominids from this period that are known without good fossil remains.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, an existing known, but poorly evidenced candidate is more probable than a new species.

Mike

What you wrote is really not science. I remember my biology textbook from 80's and back then we only have homo habilis, homo erectus, and homo sapiens in a very simple evolutionary line. Look what we have today. Simplest explanation is not the way to go in science. We can't combine two distinct and incomplete set of data or we might as well attach a lion's skull on a horse's body because the horse skeleton is missing a head. The only way we can prove these are Denisovan is by DNA because that's all we have for Denisovan. Other hominids lived very close to that era in Southeast Asia. We may be dealing with hybrids, such as descendants of homo erectus (which has been proven to have survived in Java as recent as 27,000 years ago or homo floresiensis which lived to about 12,000 year ago in Indoesia) and modern human, which could explain moderate brain size with primitive features (such as prominent brow). Only with DNA would we know if this is a hybrid or distinct species based on divergence.

Most experts agreed that evidence found is leaning toward new species.

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I think we need to wait until the DNA is in before we start saying extinct.

When we profiled Neaderthal DNA we discovered most people on Earth have 4$ of their genes in them.

I would still call that a species extinction.

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