106402574 mediaitem106398643 - New human species found in Philippines
Science/Nature

New human species found in Philippines

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The researchers found 13 elements of the new species, including bones and teeth

There’s a new addition to the family tree: an extinct species of human that’s been found in the Philippines.

It’s known as Homo luzonensis, after the site of its discovery on the country’s largest island Luzon.

Its physical features are a mixture of those found in very ancient human ancestors and in more recent people.

That could mean primitive human relatives left Africa and made it all the way to South-East Asia, something not previously thought possible.

The find shows that human evolution in the region may have been a highly complicated affair, with three or more human species in the region at around the time our ancestors arrive.

The new specimens from Callao Cave, in the north of Luzon, are described in the journal Nature.

Homo luzonensis has some physical similarities to recent humans, but in other ways resembles ape-like creatures that lived in Africa three million years ago.

Given that Luzon was only ever accessible by sea, the find raises questions about how primitive human relatives could have reached the island.

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