Dom Post: Intriguing new branches broaden the human family tree

Bob Brockie writes in the Dominion Post about the recent fossil discoveries which suggest that modern humanity lived with several other forms of humanity for a number of years in our early history.

Recently,  the announcement was made that a fossil in Siberia could be from a previously unknown hominid who might have been co-existing with anatomically modern humans.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Last month a new human species may have been discovered in Siberia. Scientists at Leipzig were stunned to find the DNA from the 30,000-year-old fossil child’s finger bone did not match Neanderthal or modern human DNA profiles. The German scientists are treating the child as a putative new species of humanity until evidence proves otherwise. If the child is another species, DNA specialist and anthropologist Svante Paabo suggests that those people probably migrated out of Africa about a million years ago and survived in Eurasia until about 30,000 years ago.

“The intriguing picture to emerge from these recent discoveries is that, about 60,000 years ago, four species of humanity simultaneously walked on Earth – the Hobbits on their Indonesian island, the child in freezing Siberia, we Homo sapiens sweltering in Africa, and the Neanderthals trying to keep warm in Ice Age Europe.”