Scientists think they’ve found a new species of human that lived alongside other “modern” humans in southeast China. Can the chaotic evolution of humans shed any light on the existence of Bigfoot? Cryptozoology lovers want to know! Let’s take a look!
Last month, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) published their findings on remains found in southeast China in the scientific journal Plos One. The findings indicate there may have been yet another new species of human roaming that area at the same time as other modern humans. The possibilities are tantalizing for cryptozoology.
First let’s review what the scientists said.
A team led by Associate Professor Darren Curnoe (UNSW Australia) and Professor Ji Xueping (Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology [YICRA] in China) studied remains found in the Red Deer Cave in China’s southeastern Yunnan province. They were known as the Red Deer Cave people (artist’s conception, top right).
The remains were found in 1989 then left to languish in a museum draw somewhere until the scientists rescued them from obscurity. The team first studied the skull bones they found thinking they would reveal the most and best information about who or what these creatures were. (Red Deer Cave pictured, right.)
But surprisingly, they didn’t. According to Professor Ji, “We published our findings on the skull bones first because we thought they’d be the most revealing, but we were amazed by our studies of the thigh bone, which showed it to be much more primitive than the skulls seem to be.”
The quandary arises because the scientists believe this new individual, the one whose thigh bone they recently studied, may have been a separate species than the other remains found in the Red Deer Cave, known as Maludong.
But this latest finding injects even more mystery and speculation into the mix.
This small thin bone has thrown a lot of controversy into the identification of China’s Red Deer Cave people. The scientists estimate the bone to be only 14,000 year old, yet they resemble the thigh bones of much earlier hominids, Homo habilis and Homo erectus, who lived one and a half million years ago.
Professor Ji stated, “Its young age suggests the possibility that primitive-looking humans could have survived until very late in our evolution, but we need to [be] careful as it is just one bone.”
He’s right. It’s not wise to extrapolate too much from the study of one bone. It helps to have other corroborating evidence, if you will, found in other bones from the same area. In Longlin Cave, which is near Maludong, but located in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, other remains of the Red Deer Cave people were previously found.
Professor Curnoe cautions, “The new find hints at the possibility a pre-modern species may have overlapped in time with modern humans on mainland East Asia, but the case needs to be built up slowly with more bone discoveries.”
According to the article in ScienceDaily.com, “Like the primitive species Homo habilis, the Maludong thigh bone is very small; the shaft is narrow, with the outer layer of the shaft (or cortex) very thin; the walls of the shaft are reinforced (or buttressed) in areas of high strain; the femur neck is long; and the place of muscle attachment for the primary flexor muscles of the hip is very large and faces strongly backwards.”
The scientists estimate this human weighed only 50 kg (110 lbs) which they feel is small compared to pre-modern and Ice Age humans.
The scientists speculated in another unnamed publication that the skull found in Longlin cave may be a hybrid combining modern human DNA with that of an older, unknown group, which could be represented by the person whose thigh bone the scientists just studied. (Professors Curnoe and Xueping studying the Longlin skull in 2010, left.)
It’s enough to give us all a headache, but the only way to get it all straightened out is to keep doing research, find the bones and study them.
What’s clear is that human evolution is no longer represented by a tidy tree analogy. Scientists say a bush or shrub analogy is better because it’s not clear which species of human was living alongside any other one. There could be multiple human species living at the same time.
Remember the tragic story about Zana, who may have represented an earlier form of human still living in the Ural mountains of Russia? Alongside modern day Homo sapiens?
There was more controversy when the Hobbit people were discovered in Indonesia especially about when they lived.
The scientific community is still trying to figure it all out. One thing stands out to me, and that is the fecundity of life on our planet, throughout its long history. Fecundity is an excellent word to describe it because it means “fruitfulness or fertility as of the earth, and the capacity of abundant production.”
It seems our planet keeps churning out creatures and plant life that continue to astound us. So we shouldn’t be surprised when they find new species of anything.
So of course my mind turns right to the big hairy guy. I still don’t think Bigfoots are hominids, I still believe they are a type of great ape – an undocumented-by-science great ape. If there were multiple species of humans roaming the planet at the same time, why not great apes? (Artist’s image right, unknown.)
And why couldn’t they be roaming the planet the same time as we are? There is no reason why they couldn’t be, or in fact, aren’t.
The season opener for Finding Bigfoot that aired last night was a lot of fun. What I found most interesting about it were the eyewitness accounts. They were great! I totally believe people are seeing Bigfoot around the country, and especially in the Pacific Northwest extending into Canada. The environment is perfect for them.
It’s only a matter of time. One day we will have definitive proof that these creatures exist and science will finally come to believe it.
Do you believe that Bigfoot exists?