Bones Found in Philippine Cave Reveal Long-Lost Cousin of Modern Humans


This undated photo provided by the Callao Cave Archaeology Project in April 2019 shows Callao Cave on Luzon Island of the Philippines, where the fossils of Homo luzonensis were discovered. This view is taken from the rear of the first chamber of the cave, where the fossils were found, in the direction of the second chamber. In a study released on Thursday, April 10, 2019, scientists report that tests on two samples from the species show minimum ages of 50,000 years and 67,000 years. (Callao Cave Archaeology Project via AP)

Source: Time

By Malcolm Ritter

(NEW YORK) — Fossil bones and teeth found in the Philippines have revealed a long-lost cousin of modern people, which evidently lived around the time our own species was spreading from Africa to occupy the rest of the world.

It’s yet another reminder that, although Homo sapiens is now the only surviving member of our branch of the evolutionary tree, we’ve had company for most of our existence.

And it makes our understanding of human evolution in Asia “messier, more complicated and whole lot more interesting,” says one expert, Matthew Tocheri of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

In a study released Wednesday by the journal Nature, scientists describe a cache of seven teeth and six bones from the feet, hands and thigh of at least three individuals. They were recovered from Callao Cave on the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Tests on two samples show minimum ages of 50,000 years and 67,000 years.

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