Scientists have discovered a new human species, Homo Bodoensis, which is probably a direct ancestor of modern humans and lived 500,000 to 600,000 years ago in Africa, which later moved to the eastern Mediterranean and southeastern Europe.
The naming was not done after the discovery of new fossils, but after the re-evaluation of old fossils.
Today, the only species of the Homo genus that has survived is Homo sapiens, but once upon a time on Earth, different human species lived and may have coexisted. The most recent major discovery was the tiny Homo Floresiensis (also known as the “Hobbit”) discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores. The new species of Homo bodoensis adds to an increasingly complex evolutionary “puzzle”, writes Ora News.
The researchers, led by Miriana Roxadic, a professor of paleoanthropology at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, who publishes the journal Evolutionary Anthropology, analyzed human fossils dating from about 129,000 to 774,000 years ago.
However, there is relative confusion about these fossils, which is why this period has been called by scientists since the 1960s the “confusion in between”, that is, between Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens.
Fossils of this period from Africa and Eurasia are usually attributed to Homo heidelbergensis (Heidelberg Man) or Homo rhodesiensis (Rhodesian Man).
But recently it was realized through genetic analysis that in fact in some cases it was a fossil of early Neanderthals.
Scientists are now proposing the existence of a new species, Homo bodoensis, named after a 600,000-year-old skull found in Bodo D’ar, Ethiopia in 1976.
This new species will now be attributed to many fossils. Homo bodoensis will now be described as most of the Middle Pleistocene fossils from Africa, as well as some from Southeastern Europe, while some other fossils in Europe will be considered to belong to Neanderthals, which will virtually wipe out Homo Heidelbergensis , which was named after a 609,000-year-old skull found in Germany).
According to their proposal, Homo bodoensis was a direct ancestor of Homo sapiens. Living in Africa for hundreds of thousands of years, it probably then spread to the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Southeast Europe. Researchers will try to find fossils of Homo bodoensis in Europe.
The question is whether the name Homo bodoensis will really prevail, as not all scientists seem to be convinced (among them remains the skeptical British paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London).