Researchers of human evolution that have been studying fossils in northern Kenya have identified a new human species which lived around 2.5 million years ago. The discovery suggests that at least three separate species of humans existed at that time in Africa. This may turn human evolution on its head.
The research supplements to a increasing body of knowledge that runs opposite to the general opinion that there was direct evolution from early primates to modern human beings. This research on human evolution has been published in the journal Nature and anthropologists have revealed finding three human fossils that are between 1.7 and 1.9 million years old. The specimens are a face and two jawbones lined with teeth.
What caused all this was basically nature was evolving several different human prototypes, out of which only one would be successful, and that would ultimately be the beginning of our species, stated Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London.
The previous belief held was that a skull discovered in 1972 was of a totally different species of human, which was known as Homo rudolfensis. That skull was very different from any others from that time. It had a fairly large brain and long face.
Yet for over 40 years the skull was the solitary specimen of this species and so it was impossible to say for sure whether the individual was a rare example or a member of a new class of human in the human evolution scale.
With the detection of the three new remains scientists can now say with more confidence that H.rudolfensis truly was a distinct type of human that existed around 2.3 million years ago together with the other species of humans.
For the longest time the oldest known human ancestor was believed to be a primeval species, dating back over 1.75 million years ago and was known as H. erectus. They had slight heads, protruding brow lines and stood straight up.
But 50 years ago, researchers learned about an even older and more primitive human species named Homo habilis which might have live together with H. erectus. Now it seems possible that H. rudolfensis was around during that time period too and increases the distinctive chance that numerous other human species also lived during that era as well.
This discovery is just the latest in a mounting rise of evidence in human evolution that is defiling the original views about how our species evolved. It does not appear to have been in any sort of smooth direct progression from our primate lines.
Scientists are discovering that humans have a diverse past, and that the human species has evolved in special ways. Because in all groups of animals, numerous different species start off evolving, all having different and new traits. If the new characteristic is better suitable to the environment in which the species is born, then it will thrive and carry onward. If not, the species dies off and becomes extinct. This is survival of the fittest and best.
Stringer says that fossil evidence shows human evolution has followed the exact same pattern. He states that humans have appeared to have evolved in different ways in various regions. It seemed as if nature was evolving different human examples with different characteristics, yet only one, which would be our ancestor, was in the end successful in evolutionary standing. Regardless, still new human species has been identified even if they survived down to our time or not. They did live on this earth once and human evolution just might be turned on its head now.
Written by: Kimberly Ruble