Homo luzonensis – welcome to the family!
New species discovered in the Philippines
Several teeth, finger bones, toe bones, and a thigh bone belong to a newly discovered early human species: Homo luzonensis. Found in Callao Cave on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, Homo luzonensis had a small body, much like another island species: Homo floresiensis. How this new species is related to the rest of the human family tree is unclear. Its teeth are distinct from every other early human species, and its fingers and toes are relatively longer than a modern human’s. Dating to about 67,000 years old, it predates the earliest human presence in the Philippines by 40,000 years. At that time the Philippines were islands, separated from mainland Asia. This means that Homo luzonensis must have reached the Philippines over water.
Published in the journal Nature April 11th, 2019, by Florent Détroit and colleagues.