back to article Welcome your new ancestor to the Homo family tree; boffins have discovered a new tiny species of human

A team of archeologists has pieced together bone fragments to reveal what is, apparently, a new species of human. The discovery of a foot bone lodged in the Callao Cave, a limestone grotto on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, gave the researchers, led by the University of Philippines and the National Museum of Natural …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    the foot bone connected to the knee bone...

    ...the knee bone connected to the skull bone,

    the hand bone connected to the jaw bone

    and that's how we won the fight.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: the foot bone connected to the knee bone...

      ...the knee bone connected to the skull bone,

      Well, not any more, tendons, muscle and cartilage don't generally survive over that timespan. Plus, they were of multiple individuals in the first place.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: the foot bone connected to the knee bone...

        ...the knee bone connected to the skull bone,

        Dare I point out that should the knee bone and skull bone be connected in any way by tendons, cartilage or muscle, then the individual is severely deformed.

        1. John Riddoch
          Joke

          Re: the foot bone connected to the knee bone...

          And that whooshing sound is the joke going over your head....

          It doesn't mention whose skull is connected to whose knee, after all.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: the foot bone connected to the knee bone...

      Yeah, was trying to find a YT clip of Alexis Kanner singing it (in "The Prisoner") but none to be found.

  2. macjules Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Grammar Nazi Alert!

    Filipino ..

    I could be wrong as there could indeed be a nation after which the pastry is named ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grammar Nazi Alert!

      Filipino ..

      I could be wrong as there could indeed be a nation after which the pastry is named.

      You could indeed be wrong; Filipinos. The spelling comes from "las Islas Filipinas" ...

      1. KarMann Bronze badge

        Re: Grammar Nazi Alert!

        And the subtitle says 'in a Filopino cave.' It's technically not grammar, but still it certainly ain't right.

        ETA: It's not helping that it's not clear just which correction OC meant to make there, or even whether he's saying 'Filipino' is the wrong version or the correct one. I'm assuming it's the correction.

      2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: Grammar Nazi Alert!

        "... Las isla bonita ..."? Does that make me old?

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: Grammar Nazi Alert!

          Yes.

    2. John Sager

      Re: Grammar Nazi Alert!

      I thought it was a standard Reg subhead joke - "layers and layers of Filo...". Google Filo pastry...

      1. HildyJ Silver badge

        Re: Grammar Nazi Alert!

        Las Islas Froyo?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Coat

          Re: Grammar Nazi Alert!

          Would that make the Hobbit island the Isla Frodo?

    3. Fungus Bob

      Re: Grammar Nazi Alert!

      Who is this Phillip Eno that everyone is talking about?

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Which is it?

    " lived on the island 700.000 years ago' or " started populating the islands 67.000 years ago" ?

    If they were there 700.000 years ago but this one was from 67.000 years ago, this was a very stable species. Who went away and came back?

    1. Khaptain Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Which is it?

      A lot of Filiponos work abroad for several years at a time, apparently it was already an established system even back then.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Which is it?

      " lived on the island 700.000 years ago' or " started populating the islands 67.000 years ago"

      These bones are 67k years old; other finds point to humanoids living on the islands 700k years back, but those might not have been the same species as no direct evidence to that effect has (yet) been found.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Which is it?

        My precious..

        This, along with the hobbits intrigues me. I saw reports saying this must have meant sea faring primitives given these have been islands for a looong time, and the out-of-Africa hypothesis for Homo-X evolution. Or there was some parallel evolution, or our understanding of our geological history is incorrect. Or perhaps the classification of these bones is incorrect.

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Which is it?

          "Islands" are fun for evolution quirkiness

          Read up about it (insular dwarfism & insular gigantism)

          It is common for island creatures to evolve to a different size be ii considerably larger or smaller than their mainland counterparts

          .. For "island" you can interpret it as any smallish restricted habitat e.g. get similar stuff in areas "cut off" by high mountains etc.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Which is it?

          "Or perhaps the classification of these bones is incorrect."

          Having watched studies of human evolution develop over a number of years it seems very likely that proposed evolutionary trees will get revised. Or refined according to choice of words.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Which is it?

            "Having watched studies of human evolution develop over a number of years it seems very likely that proposed evolutionary trees will get revised. Or refined according to choice of words."

            Likely, because even NOW scientists are fudging things as they go. For example: one of the tenants of classifications, the definition of species: "

            From the dictionary:

            "a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding."

            From UC Berkeley:" A species is often defined as a group of individuals that actually or potentially interbreed in nature."

            From Wikipedia: " A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction."

            And yet, with these CLEAR definitions of species, we still see homo sapiens, homo neanderthals, and homo denisova spoken/written/researched about as different species, when it is clear that they (all three) interbred very successfully for thousands of years. They are different subspecies of a singlet species. When I put this question to a conference of biologists, NONE could give even one explanation as to why we still refer to them as different species when these three populations could so clearly interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

            I think biologists dont know what to do!

            Look at the wiki page for homo denesova: "The Denisovans or Denisova hominins ( /dɪˈniːsəvə/ di-NEE-sə-və) are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans in the genus Homo."

            Um-- NO!. They interbred with neanderthals and modern humans... successfully. the are NOT an extinct species. Further, as a DISTINCT subspecies, Denesova and Nearnderthal are extinct. As a DISTINCT subspecies, modern man exists only in some places in Africa, and it is almost certain that the homo sapiens subspecies will go extinct. All three should be classified as a subspecies of "homo neandersapiendenisova"

            And yet.... it hasn't happened.

            1. Dr. Ellen
              Headmaster

              Yet another grammar nazi

              "...one of the tenants of classifications..."

              A tenant rents his or her abode or place of business. A tenet is a basic rule of the subject under discussion.

              1. Thrudd the Barbarian
                Joke

                Re: Yet another grammar nazi

                Oh!

                And here is silly me thinking it was one of the Doctors.

                Mone is the blue one with the keys to a Police Box

            2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Which is it?

              I still think it's fascinating. And a rich source of puns. So Pleistocene, morphology, and an escape from Sundaland..

              But fun trying to extrapolate based on limited data, ie a few bones and other remains. Plus the island dwarfism potentially causing it's own evolutionary drift in various branches of the Homo- family tree. I also think it's great that a generation ago, much of this stuff would only be really known amongst interested anthropologists, and now thanks to the magic of the Internet, we can learn and share so much knowledge.

              I've also often wondered what triggered evolution, and how flexible the branches were in the early days, ie the interbreeding, and presumably a combination of genetics and competition leading to the dominance of Homo Sapiens rather than Neanderthals, which to me seemed to have some potential advantages.

            3. Kyle Roberts

              Re: Which is it?

              You are right, but as usual your point is glossed over or the implications not understood! Everyone looks for the great 'missing link' and that colours the interpretations a bit. You won't get recognition for finding yet another deformed human, or different extinct ape...

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Which is it?

              Then again, trying to make mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories out of what is essentially a continuous process is bound to create continuous dispute and debate - forever.

              Good "make-work" though.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calling Prof. Alice Roberts !!!!!

    Mind you, I often think that when there aren't ground breaking archaeological discoveries ....

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Calling Prof. Alice Roberts !!!!!

      A wise choice.

  5. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    evidence of a butchered rhinoceros point to the existence of a small-bodied homo species

    Small-bodied, but evidently capable of killing a rhinoceros and bringing it home. Impressive!

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      The article says 'not fully grown' so inferring fully grown size sounds a bit like Time Team archeology - "Here's a single post hole. From this we can determine that it was a fully thatched, four fur semi with en-suite sacrifice facility, large mammoth preparation area and outside screened toilet hole with hot and cold running stream".

      1. oldfartuk

        This would only be mentioned in the Daily Mail, however.

        1. OssianScotland Silver badge

          Along with how much it was worth (probably in cowrie shells or Sabre-toothed Tiger teeth)

      2. strax

        I guess "not fully grown" means that the epiphyseal growth zones in some of the bones have not fully closed yet. It is a reliable sign if the individual is fully grown-up/adult or not.

    2. x 7

      Must have been a pygmy rhino

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Right on the money! It was a "Rhinoceros Chihuahuensis".

        8^)

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Pirate

      Small-bodied, but evidently capable of killing a rhinoceros and bringing it home. Impressive!

      I had a girlfriend like that once. Well, apart from the actual killing and bringing home a rhinoceros as that's generally frowned upon in polite society nowadays, never mind running afoul of laws protecting endangered species.

      But if one had dared to look at her the wrong way ...

    4. Soulhand

      > Small-bodied, but evidently capable of killing a rhinoceros, butchering it, and bringing the bits home.

      FTFY

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Ancestor?

    Not very probable. Distant and long-lost cousin.

    1. Ima Ballsy
      Devil

      From our

      ...POTUS family line no doubt .....

      1. Fatman
        Thumb Up

        Re: From our

        I just had to give you an upvote for that!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Root races and sub races

    Every time they dig up some bones belonging to a previously unknown humanoid species it always reminds me of the time, a very long time ago, I read HP Blavatsky's books 'The secret Doctrine', concerning the root races and sub races from now long lost continents. Written in 1888.

    root races and sub races

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