Icy Isolation May Have Led to New Human Species: Cold-Climate Refuges Possibly Influenced Homo Evolution
Bower, Bruce, Science News
After ancient people left their African homeland, they migrated into Asia and Europe, taking refuge from ice age conditions in areas isolated from other populations, two new reports suggest. That isolation may have prompted the evolution of new Homo species, including a mysterious Asian population dubbed Denisovans and possibly an unusual-looking humanlike group now identified in China.
Ice age asylums "are critical to understanding the expansion of H. sapiens out of Africa, the extinction of Neandertals and Denisovans, and interbreeding between these populations," comments anthropologist Robin Dennell of the University of Sheffield in England.
Fossils unearthed in two caves in southwestern China come from an unusual-looking line of Homo sapiens, or perhaps a previously unknown Homo species, say anthropologist Darren Curnoe of the University of New South Wales in Sydney and his colleagues. This group lived near modern-looking people between 14,300 and 11,500 years ago.
Ancient bones unearthed …
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Publication information: Article title: Icy Isolation May Have Led to New Human Species: Cold-Climate Refuges Possibly Influenced Homo Evolution. Contributors: Bower, Bruce - Author. Magazine title: Science News. Volume: 181. Issue: 7 Publication date: April 7, 2012. Page number: 5+. © 2009 Science Service, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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