– the group consisting of modern humans, extinct human species and all
our immediate ancestors (including members of the genera Homo, Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Ardipithecus).”

Australian Museum.

A lot had happened this year with hominin research and some would
redefine conventional understandings of this group. Below is a list of
new studies that came out this year that are quite interesting on

Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus

Paranthropus boisei

From left to right: Comparison of upper jaw, P. boisei and H. sapiens. Photo from PhysOrg.

Homo erectus

  • Stone artifacts, mostly flakes from stone tools, from the Dmanisi site in Georgia (the country, not the state) might suggests that H. erectus
    evolved outside of Africa. However, no conclusive evidence can be made
    due to the poor conditions of fossils found near these artifacts. Human ancestors in Eurasia earlier than thought
  • H. erectus reached South Asia earlier than previously thought, between 1.5 to 1 million years ago according to Acheulean tools. Go east, ancient tool makers
Acheulean hand ax found in India (South Asia) indicates that H. erectus
moved to South Asia shortly after the invention of stone tools, around
1.6 million years ago. Photo from ScienceNews.

Homo neanderthalensis

  • Neandertals probably died off because there were too many early
    humans to compete with. According to a statistical analysis, the
    Périgord region of southwestern France has the highest concentration of
    Neandertals and early humans. The ratio between Neandertal to early
    human was 1 to 10. There were just too many humans for Neanderthals to survive
  • Mousterian culture might have lasted longer than previously
    thought and Neandertals might have spread as far as northern Russia in
    the mountains of Polar Urals, near the Arctic Circle. Last Neanderthals Near the Arctic Circle?

Homo floresiensis (the Hobbits)

  • The debate whether H. floresiensis is a separate species or just microcephalic H. sapiens continues on. New study shows that the measurement of the Hobbit skull is within the range of microcephalic H. sapiens. Taking the measure of a hobbit
From left to right: Homo floresiensis (LB1) and Homo sapiens.

Homo sapiens (early and modern humans)

*Bouchra child, Homo sapiens*

  • Dr. Harold Dribble and his team found the skull of “world’s oldest
    human child” dated around 108,000 years old in Morocco and nicknamed it
    Bouchra. The boy died when he was 8 years old. This specimen has not
    been described in any scientific paper so watch out for it soon. World’s Oldest Child Found in Morocco

Originally posted on The Prancing Papio