Upper jawbone found in the cave on Mt Carmel in Israel J
Earlier this month it was announced that a large international research team discovered the earliest known modern human fossil outside of Africa and they interpret the find to mean that modern humans left Africa at least 50k years earlier than previously thought which, frankly, may or may not be so.
The fossil is part of a left hemi-maxilla with teeth (upper jaw bone, simply). Researchers say that the find also indicates that modern humans may have been interacting over a longer period of time with other archaic humans such as Neanderthals et al. The jawbone was discovered at a site known as Misliya Cave in Israel which is one of several sites on Mt Carmel. Dating suggests the jawbone is 175-200 kya. It has been thought that modern humans first migrated out of Africa and into the Levant around 50 kya but this jawbone proves otherwise.
The jawbone itself has many features of Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans) BUT it also has features of Neanderthals and “other human groups.” And what might those “other human groups” be I ask? Homo erectus most likely and combinations (hybrids) of all of the above!! Continue Reading
Here’s an email I received recently:
“Dr Peron I’ve noticed that you’ve made a few comments on your blog centering around the possibility that some “human” fossil remains may not be human at all but may be the remains of now extinct prehistoric apes. I think one reason they are considered “ancient human ancestors” is because they are suspected of having been bipedal (correct me if I’m wrong) and the general thinking is that only humans are bipedal. Could you elaborate on this a bit in one of your posts please? I’m assuming your comments refer to species such as Ardipithecus, Paranthropus, Australopithecus, and maybe even Homo habilis? Thank you….”
And here is my response:
Thank you for your email and interest in my blog. Regarding your question(s) let me begin with the recent discovery in Germany of what appears to be the fossil remains of Australopithecus which is HIGHLY significant because this species of hominin is unknown outside of Africa. Yet, there is the fossil evidence in Germany! Or is it?
The ink on the report detailing the discovery wasn’t even dry before a measured campaign was launched to discredit the discovery! National Geographic appears to have led the charge claiming that the fossil remains were not those of Australopithecus at all but were the remains of some unknown prehistoric European ape that may have been partially bipedal. I’m NOT seeing any EVIDENCE for this, frankly, and believe that NG initiated a cover-up IN PROGRESS!! And why should they and their cohorts do so? Because if these German remains are indeed Australopithecus then that “fries” the OOA theory, period!!
So are these remains that of an ancient human ancestor or some unknown prehistoric European ape? Who knows and we will likely NEVER know now. From what I know of the discovery in my mind everything points to the fossil remains being those of a European Australopithecus NOT an ape. But, then again, what was Australopithecus? Think about the famous “Lucy” who was one of these species. She had all the features of an ape but she appears to have been at least partially if not fully bipedal. So either she was an early human ancestor OR she was a BIPEDAL APE! When I compare her remains to ape remains I see many similarities and, frankly, very few similarities to humans. Human or ape? Ape or woman?
When I do comparisons of various fossil remains I find the same. That is, many APE features and FEW human features. So have we got our fossils mixed up? Are some of the fossils of AHA really those of unknown prehistoric apes and not human at all? I’m NOT altogether convinced that every bipedal hominin is an AHA! In fact, they may well have been bipedal prehistoric APES and not human at all. I’m still doing comparisons and still pondering on this subject so I haven’t decided yet. However, I DO think we’ve got some of our fossils mixed up and misidentified!! And I think the remains found in Germany are PROBABLY the remains of Australopithecus and NOT an ape at all….or should I say a “bipedal German ape?”.
Additionally, on another but related subject I’m also trying to figure out why LATER Homo erectus was more archaic that EARLIER H. erectus as famed Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks has pointed out more than once. I suspect the devolution is due to backbreeding with a more archaic hominin species of some sort OR perhaps early H. erectus was a hybrid produced from interbreeding with a more modern species? I’ll let you know what I conclude and also what I conclude about these “human” or ape “AHA” skulls….Man or Ape?.
A paper that came out in September 2017 by Professor Ulfur Arnason calls for a new paradigm and it’s making some waves. Professor Arnason is a neuroscientist at the University of Lund in Sweden and in the paper he places the LAST COMMON ANCESTOR of Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans) and the Neanderthals somewhere in EURASIA, not Africa. Professor Arnason argues that the ancesotrs of the African KhoeSan and Mbuti people formed the first exodus of modern humans INTO AFRICA out of ASIA AND EUROPE. If he’s right then his research calls the Out of Africa theory (OOA) into question, once again, as so much research is now doing but it’s all being ignored, summarily!
A simplified view of Hss migrations. The shaded area signifies an undefined Asian(Eurasian) area from which Hss dispersed. The red track shows the potential routes of KhoeSan, Mbuti and Yoruba outside the Hsnn range. KhoeSan and Mbuti may have diverged before their migration into Africa. The arrow-headed lines between Mbuti and Yoruba mark potential genetic exchange. The green track represents the common Asian origin of indigenous Australians, Papuans-New Guineans and the Andamanese (Mallick et al., 2016). Altai shows the location of the genetic contribution of Hss into Hsn (Kuhlwilm et al., 2016) and Daoxian Cave the location of the palaeontological Hss finds described by Liu et al. (2015). Image credit: Úlfur Árnason
Common belief is that the ancient human ancestors of modern humans lived somewhere in Africa and Homo sapiens evolved there first and migrated out of Africa to Europe and Asia. Most scientists hold the belief that the exact dating of this emergence out of Africa of our ancient ancestors remains to be resolved but they are ever so sure they will discover a date soon. However, the research of Professor Arnason suggests that the origination of Homo sapiens sapiens was in EURASIA NOT IN AFRICA!
Neanderthals and modern humans seem to have parted ways, at least genetically, sometime before 500 kya (thousand years ago). Arnason argues that this date places the first of our species somewhere in Eurasia and he adds this to what we know about the geographical range of Neanderthals.
Professor Arnason said, “The EXCLUSIVE occurrence of Neanderthals in EUROPE and ASIA and their ABSENCE from Africa restricts their origins to EURASIA,” and indeed it DOES! He went on to also say, “As a consequence, the origin of their sister-group (Homo sapiens sapiens; modern humans) should be placed in the SAME CONTINENT (ie: EURASIA).” He goes on saying that this hypothesis would then be in “compliance with the LCA (last common ancestor) understanding that the LCS of any two sister groups CANNOT be separated, neither in time nor space.” Amen to that!! Continue Reading
Yesterday I posted about the 2017 major story in anthropology being the mastodon kill site found near San Diego, California which has turned everything upside down because it proves early humans where in North America at least 130 kya. This find has created a lot of controversy but, alas, the proof is there! However, I do NOT consider this story to be the major story of 2017! Rather, the REAL MAJOR STORY of 2017 is being ignored. Surprised? You shouldn’t be because the real story of 2017 completely upends all of our little theories when it comes to ancient human ancestors and researchers are hoping it will just go away.
9.7 mya fossil teeth found in Germany 2017
The REAL MAJOR story of 2017 was the discovery of ancient human ancestor fossil remains found in Germany which are believed to be from Australopithecus!! And that poses a little problem because Australopithecus fossil remains have never been found outside of Africa!!!
I reported and posted about this MAJOR DISCOVERY last October (2017) and you can find my original post on the sidebar to the right. Basically, this find put a final death blow into the Out of Africa Theory (OOA) as it was completely unexpected and finding EVIDENCE of Australopithecus outside of Africa just doesn’t fit what we though was. But obviously it was NOT! Continue Reading
Recently I had a DNA analysis done and most of the ethnic results I expected except for one. I was surprised to learn that 5% of my ethnic DNA comes from the Caucasus region located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Traditionally, the Caucasus Mountains are the dividing line between Asia and Europe. This is a today a very diverse region in terms of religion, linguistics, culture, and ecologically and looking at some of the history of this region it has apparently always been such. Today it is home to over 50 ethnic groups and is one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots, that is, this region is home to a large number of diverse plants and animals which are threatened by human encroachment. The region also has a lot of history ranging from the Mongols to the Huns to Cyrus the Great and a host of other notable historical people and cultures.
Location of Dmanisi site in Georgia Republic
The Caucasus region is also home to the wonderful Dmanisi skulls and that is what fascinates me and, now, my personal connection to this area!! Around 45,000 years ago modern humans (Homo sapiens) entered into the Caucasus region and the surrounding area from somewhere in the Middle East. Farming was introduced and it spread throughout the region during the Neolithic Period. Evidence suggests that around 800 years ago the Mongols invaded the region and left behind descendants such as the Nogay people. Ironically, the Caucasus region seems to have rarely been the source of migrations out of the area. In other words, human populations came to the region and stayed. Continue Reading
Another Death Blow to the Out of Africa Theory!!
As I’ve said many times before, “What we thought was…was NOT. And what we thought was not….. WAS.” And when it comes to the story of human evolution this appears to be even more so than we have thought. I say this because a MAJOR DISCOVERY has now been revealed in Germany. Fossil teeth were found in Western Germany about a year ago and the reason that the discovery wasn’t announced before now is that researchers wanted to be certain about the dating. This discovery is nothing short of SENSATIONAL! In fact, you might even call it SPECTACULAR!! The teeth have been dated at 9.7 myr (million years old).
9.7 mya fossil teeth found in Germany 2017
To put this into perspective let me remind you of the fossil footprints found on the island of Crete a month ago Those footprints have been dated back to 5.7 mya. That puts these footprints in the realm of existence of Ardipithecus and Australopithecus. But they were not supposed to be in Crete but Africa according to the dying Out of Africa theory which is OBVIOUSLY WRONG! Yet, there they were on the island of Crete for the whole world to see! Many researchers just couldn’t believe the find because what it proved was that our earliest ancient human ancestors were wondering around Europe at the same time or maybe even EARLIER than they were in Africa! These footprints and other finds over the last few years have put the OOA into jeopardy and with the newest find in Germany the OOA now is most certainly WRONG! Continue Reading
A research study published back in June of 2015 provides some interesting information about how Bigfoot may kill its prey. The research was conducted and published by Aaron Mills, Gerald Mills, and M.N. Townsend who discovered three bone piles and track evidence within a 17 mile radius of Mount St. Helen’s in Washington state. Also found were kill sites, animal skull remains, and animal vertebrae remains. What is interesting is scavengers seem to have avoided these sites which suggests the predator(s) may have been close to the areas.
Skulls of elk and deer showed their snouts broken by blunt force trauma and the spinal columns broken also by blunt force trauma. The predator must have been a very large creature in order to do this. No evidence was found of any clubs or weapons used to kill the deer and elk but that’s not unusual as the predator(s) likely reuse their weapons on other kills. In the case of bigfoot I’d say the weapon was likely a very large, heavy branch or rock.
What is interesting is the apparent way in which the elk and deer were killed at these kill sites. It is clear that the predator is an “ambush hunter.” It also appears that the predator first snapped the snout of the animal likely to hinder its breathing if it ran off so it could be easily followed. I think the predator then used the weapon to crack the spinal column into two or more pieces resulting in the death of the prey. Continue Reading
We’ve got a lot of 30-something males still living at home with mommy and daddy today. They don’t work and aren’t married and basically all they do is sit in the basement playing video games endlessly or engaging in some other recreational activity that one would expect to see a teenage boy doing. It’s as if these young men aren’t really men at all. Well….that is…mentally. They have the bodies of grown men but they have the minds of teenage boys and although they are sexually and physically mature they seem to still act like teen boys depending on their parents or grandparents (or someone else) to pay all of the bills, provide a roof over their heads, and supply massive amounts of food. This is a growing problem in America today especially among white males and although most are in their late 20s or early 30s there are growing numbers that are in their early to mid-40s!
There is a word for this “phenomena” and it is “Neoteny.” Neoteny refers to individual organisms who remain child-like even after they’ve reached sexual maturity. Although physically adults, mentally they retain their child-like mentality. These guys have the bodies of men but the minds and emotions of adolescents. “Children in adult bodies” is a good basic definition of Neoteny.
Biologically, an organism becomes sexually mature and an adult when it is capable of reproducing. When it enters into adulthood, then, the organism becomes physically mature. Human evolution has produced a variety of genetic changes in our species and one of the MOST IMPORTANT is neoteny. Humans are the most neotenic of all primates, in fact! Some have even gone so far as to characterize humans as “sexually mature fetuses.” And there are some reasons for this. For example, in most quadrupedal fetal animals the foramen magnum (where the spinal column connects to the brain) is near the center of the base of the skull as it is in modern humans. BUT, as that animal matures the foramen magnum moves to the rear of the skull. However, this doesn’t happen in modern humans! Our foramen magnum stays in the center….in the INFANT position!! Even in apes the young lose their neotenic features as they grow up and there are big changes in the way they look physically and act mentally. This is obvious in chimps, for example, as infants and the young look far different from adults. And they act far different from adults too. But, the position of the foramen magnum is not the only feature seen in modern humans that causes some researchers to characterize modern humans as “sexually mature fetuses.” Continue Reading