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    Default New species of ancient human discovered in the Philippines

    Dubbed Homo luzonensis, the species is one of the most important finds that will be out in the coming years, one scientist predicts.

    Humankind's tangled shrub of ancestry now has a new branch: Researchers in the Philippines announced today that they have discovered a species of ancient human previously unknown to science.

    The small-bodied hominin, named Homo luzonensis, lived on the island of Luzon at least 50,000 to 67,000 years ago. The hominin—identified from a total of seven teeth and six small bones—hosts a patchwork of ancient and more advanced features. The landmark discovery, announced in Nature on Wednesday, makes Luzon the third Southeast Asian island in the last 15 years to bear signs of unexpectedly ancient human activity.

    “For a long, long time, the Philippine islands [have] been more or less left [out]," says study coauthor and project leader Armand Mijares, an archaeologist at the University of the Philippines Diliman and a National Geographic grantee. But H. luzonensis flips the script, and it continues to challenge the outdated idea that the human line neatly progressed from less advanced to more advanced species.

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