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“Dragonman” claimed as a potential new race after analysis of Chinese skulls


The large fossilized skull discovered in China in 1933 Scientists announced a new species of ancient people on Friday.

Harbin’s skull is at least 146,000 years old, and a group of international researchers suggest in the journal The Innovation that phylogenetic analysis represents “a new sister strain of Homo sapiens.” Is written.

To summarize one of the three treatises, the group combined with a “primitive and derived character mosaic”, although the enormous size and large brain activity of well-preserved relics fall within the reach of modern humans. I wrote that it has been done.

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“It is by presenting a combination of features such as a long and low skull, a wide and low face, a large and almost square trajectory, a gently curved but large-scale supraorbital ridge, and a flat and low cheekbone. , Unlike all other named homo-species, shallow canine fossa, and a shallow palatine bone with thick alveolar bone that supports very large moles, “said the group, and the skull was interpreted as Homo erectus. As a local “evolutionary intermediate” between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens, which stated that it “advanced” the human understanding of some other imperfect fossa from late China.

As a result of scrutiny, scientists have found that the skull of Harbin and other mid-Pleistocene human fossils from China have formed a “third East Asian lineage that is part of a sister group of the H. sapiens lineage.” I found that.

“Analysis of such morphologically characteristic archaic lineages from Asia, Europe and Africa may have had a much deeper timescale than previously estimated for Homo diversification. It suggests that, “they added. “The orthotopic segregation of small populations in combination with stochastic long-range variance is the optimal biogeographic model for interpreting the evolution of Homo.”

In an additional commentary, scientists have found one of the fossils called the Dali skull, which was discovered in Shaanxi and is considered to be a unique species of homodaliensis, and the “clear diagnosis” of the Harbin skull, the homodali. Suggested that it should be called Ensis. “Characteristics” are different from the skulls of Dali and Hua London.

They said that Harbin’s skull is in a sister group relationship with the Denisovan mandible in Gansu.

“Both specimens may belong to H. longisp. Nov. Further human fossils from the Middle Pleistocene and neighbors of China will test this idea,” they pledged.

Denisovans, close relatives of the Neanderthals, have lived in Asia for hundreds of thousands of years, but scientists have found only small fossil traces of their existence. It is known to have crossed with Homo sapiens because there were multiple species of Hominini at that time.

The artist’s impression of what the Dragonman looked like.
(Natural History Museum / Chuang_Zhao)

The rendering of Harbin’s skull helped bring to life a male homolongi called “Dragonman” after the Dragon River in Heilongjiang Province.

The man was about 50 years old when he died.

According to the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London, the skull was discovered in a mysterious situation almost 90 years ago when a Chinese worker working on a bridge over the Songhua River pulled the skull out of nearby sediments. It is said to have been.

The man kept Harbin’s skull tightly hidden until just before he died in 2018. The family then transferred the skull and donated it to the HebeiGEO University Museum of Earth Sciences and a professor of principal research author. Strong wisdom.

The South China Morning Post reported Friday that a man hid it to protect it from Japanese troops.

The skull is called the Dragonman and may be a new species of ancient humans.
(Mr. Weitaka)

In a long statement posted on Twitter on Friday, NHM paleoanthropologist Christopher Stringer, two of Dragonman’s three treatises, was invited to Kochi in 2019 to join Harbin’s skull. I wrote that I was surprised at the preservation.

“The skull is almost intact, but only one giant second molar is preserved, and the intracranial volume is huge, about 1420 ml. The maxillary ridge is strong, the upper surface is very wide, and the nose is open. It has a part and a palate, but in contrast, the face is delicate cheekbones, low in height, retracted under the skull, and is very similar to Homo sapiens. ”

“Nevertheless, the neurocranium has a distinctly archaic contour-long, low, and lacks the spherical shape found in our species,” continued Stringer. “But the mastoid process and the large, behind the skull do not show the angular occipital bone and the strong lateral torus found in large H. heidelbergensis individuals. When viewed from behind, the skull is very large. Wide, parallel flanks, dilation of the upper skull found in H. sapiens and a nearly spherical supranicular fossa found in most Neandertals (Ni et al., 2021).

Stringer, while paleoanthropologists often use landmark-based analysis to measure the overall similarity between compared human fossils, his colleague’s phylogenetic analysis is between species or organisms. He pointed out that he adopted a mathematical method to establish a bifurcation diagram of the evolutionary relationship of.

“These methods have been applied to 95 representative fossils and more than 600 quantitative and morphological properties, and by analysis, three major clades of Late Pleistocene humans, H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. , And a group containing other Chinese fossils such as Harbin and Dali, Jinniushan, etc. have been revealed, “Xiahe said.

In doing so, what was “surprising” for stringers was that the Harbin Clade, a group that included a common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor, was first linked to Homo sapiens rather than Homo Neanderthals.

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While he believes the Harbin group justifies a clear species name, Stringer “prefers to put the fossils of Harbin and Dali together as H. daliensis,” and Harbin’s skull “possible for Denisovans.” There is sex. ”

“But these disagreements should not deviate from the remarkable new parts of the jigsaw puzzle of human evolution. Fossils will continue to add important information over the years to come,” he said. I concluded.

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