An ancient thighbone found in China adds to evidence that prehistoric humans existed on mainland Eurasia at the same time as modern humans, researchers say in a study published in PLOS ONE.
The existence of the so-called Red Deer People (so named because they appear to have eaten very little else, was first suggested three years ago following the analysis of skull bones from Maludong in Yunan Province.
Australian palaeo-anthropologist Darren Curnoe and his Chinese colleague, palaeontologist Ji Xueping said the Reed Deer People seem to have had a unique mix of primitive and modern features.
Now Curnoe has analysed a 14,000-year-old partial thighbone, found in Maludong in 1989, which Curnow says comes from a human with “primitive anatomy”, despite its relative young age. He said it appeared to be the bone from an individual that would have lived about 1.5 million years ago.
“This is a thighbone that is very different to modern humans,” he told the media.
Originally published by Cosmos as Mystery of prehistoric humans deepens
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.