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Author Topic:   Possible New Human Species Found
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 152 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


(1)
Message 1 of 6 (656851)
03-22-2012 2:19 PM


Scientists have discovered what may be a new species of human in China, calling them the "Red Deer Cave People."

Discovered in 1989 by miners quarrying limestone near the city of Mengzi, the fossil remains haven't been studied until 2008. They lived in China at the end of the last great Ice Age from about 15,000 to 11,000 years ago, during a very cold period. They have a curious mixture of modern and archaic human traits but have yet to be classified as a new species. Among those archaic traits are the heavy brow ridges, thick skull bones, lack of a chin, large molar teeth, moderately sized brain and primitive features in the parietal lobes.

Details of the scientists findings can be read in the journal PLoS ONE.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by RAZD, posted 03-22-2012 8:57 PM DBlevins has responded

  
RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
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Message 2 of 6 (656894)
03-22-2012 8:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by DBlevins
03-22-2012 2:19 PM


Hi DBlevins, thanks

Scientists have discovered what may be a new species of human in China, calling them the "Red Deer Cave People."

We seem to be seeing a mosaic of traits here. We also need to consider H.erectus and possible interbreeding, when we know that they migrated into this area (Java man and Dmanisi).

Just looking at the pictures, it seems to me that the Longlin 1 skull ...

quote:
http://www.plosone.org/...i%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0031918

Figure 3. Longlin 1 partial skull (each bar = 1 cm).

... looks a lot like G or H from the Talk Origins lineup picture:

quote:

(G) Homo erectus, Dmanisi cranium D2700, 1.75 My
(H) Homo ergaster (early H. erectus), KNM-ER 3733, 1.75 My

The other skull shown is not so easy to compare, however they have a graph showing it with a higher forehead than erectus. They also say:

quote:
Vault thickness.

Vault thickness measurements are presented for LL 1 and MLDG 1704 and compared in Table 5. At bregma, LL 1 has a thick vault (10 mm), being most similar to the H. erectus (ERECT) mean (92 mm; z0.49). While its value is within one standard deviation unit of the EUEHS sample mean (73 mm; z0.94), it is significantly different to the NEAND mean (71 mm; z2.89, p0.006).


Certainly there has been time for some phyletic evolution if there is a continued branch of H.erectus in the neighborhood.

It will be interesting to see how further information adds to the picture.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : finish

Edited by RAZD, : added

Edited by RAZD, : added again


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This message is a reply to:
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 Message 4 by DBlevins, posted 03-23-2012 2:24 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Coyote
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(4)
Message 3 of 6 (656897)
03-22-2012 10:42 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by RAZD
03-22-2012 8:57 PM


Thoughts
My initial thought on looking at that skull was very late erectus.

Very late erectus has no business being that late in time if what we know is correct.

Looks like we are learning something new.

One of my evolution professors thought we would eventually find a "late European erectus" so perhaps he was correct.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

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DBlevins
Member (Idle past 152 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


(1)
Message 4 of 6 (656953)
03-23-2012 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by RAZD
03-22-2012 8:57 PM


Questions abound
There are a couple of things I thought about when reading the articles and looking at the morphology:

Are these traits due to hybridization? Or a surviving population of later Homo pushed out of North Africa by Homo sapiens?

If they are due to hybridization, could we expect that certain cultural traits might be carried forward? With a probable low population pressure from surrounding (probably dominant) cultures, could we see artifacts that share traits with earlier Homo erectus populations?

I would expect that these examples more closely resemble cladogenesis and the further branching off of hominin species (consider the diversity within Africa prior to the migration of Homo sapiens), if they are not due to hybridization.

I expect that a lot of questions would be resolved if they are able to extract some DNA from the remains.


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 Message 2 by RAZD, posted 03-22-2012 8:57 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 152 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 5 of 6 (656955)
03-23-2012 2:38 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coyote
03-22-2012 10:42 PM


Re: Thoughts
Occums razor.

As you say, H. erectus has no business being in that area at that time. But, we do know that Pleistocene H. sapiens was quite morphologically diverse prior to their expansion into Eurasia.

It would be exciting to see a surviving population of divergent H. erectus, but I suspect not, considering the lack of H. erectus fossils within the transitional time. Of course, absence of evidence does not necessarily constitute evidence of absence.

Here's hoping they extract some DNA.


This message is a reply to:
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Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 605 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008


Message 6 of 6 (657349)
03-27-2012 4:32 PM


I bet the Chinese are pleased, with their whole "divergent Chinese human evolution" thing.

hopefully they can get some DNA.


  
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