science

May be evidence of our new ancestor – Corriere.it

A large fossil skull discovered in China can belong to one of our own Mysterious ancestors that disappeared over thousands of years, the so-called Denisovans, a discovery that could open great prospects or a new human species, so called in most, the name comes from a Chinese term meaning “dragon man”. The discovery occupies the pages of major newspapers such as The New York Times Or prestigious magazines such as new world e National Geographic.

Questions about discovery

According to the researchers, it will be an important discovery, but it is also believed to be However, adding a new species to our family tree is still premature. The skull was discovered in China’s Heilongjian Province in the early 1930s, but the man who discovered it hid it in a well, revealing its location only on his deathbed. The skull was recovered in 2018 and has only been scientifically analyzed now with modern methods. “It’s a really amazing find, it’s one of the most complete skulls I’ve ever seen,” said researcher Xijun Ni of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who is part of the team that studied the fossil. This will be the largest skull ever found of a Homo longi, said Chris Stringer of the National History Museum in London, who is also a member of the team. “This is the largest human skull I have ever seen, although many have been analyzed.” . Researchers estimate that the skull was of a man He was fifty years old when he died, between 146,000 and 196,000 years old.


Neither Neanderthals nor Sapiens

skull characteristics A mixture of the distinguishing features of ancient and modern humans. For example, it has thick forehead edges, yet “the face looks like a larger version of a modern human face,” says Stringer. Also His brain size is similar to ours. “It has an interesting set of features, its morphology shows that this specimen represents a distinct line of development from East Asia. It’s not Neanderthals and it’s not Homo sapiens, it’s something very special and different” Stringer comments.

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Denisovians secret سر

One possibility is that the fossil found in China is Denisovans, a mysterious group of prehistoric humans first identified about ten years ago through DNA found in a finger bone found in Denisova Cave in Siberia, Russia. Denisovans were closely related to Neanderthals and lived in Asia for hundreds of thousands of years. They too will cross with the wise. Some additional Denisovian fossils have been identified in recent years, including a jawbone from at least 160,000 years old found in Tibet known as the mandibular Xihae. But tracking entire Denisovian skulls has proven more difficult: the skull analyzed now in China may be one of the strongest candidates.

huge teeth

The team of Chinese researchers built a family tree and discovered that the skull found is morphologically closely related to the so-called Xihae mandible: it is interesting to note, for example, that each of these fossils has huge teeth. “What distinguishes Denisovians is the size of their teeth.”NYU’s Shara Bailey commented, “It is an exciting possibility to suppose that the skull found in China is the first Denisovian skull.” Most researchers prefer to refer to Denisovans as a “group” rather than a distinct species, but the discovery opens up new horizons.

Jun 25 2021 (change on Jun 25, 2021 | 20:01)

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