Thigh Bone Suggests Ancient and Modern Humans Overlapped
Analysis of an ancient thigh bone suggests that a species of early hominin may have survived as late as 14,000 years ago in southwest China.
The bone was discovered in 1989 along with other human remains at a site known as Maludong, or Red Deer Cave. Scientists have not yet ascribed the bone to a particular species.
But in a study in the journal PLOS One, Darren Curnoe, a paleontologist at the University of New South Wales Australia, and his colleagues report that the thigh bone strongly resembles those of Homo erectus or Homo habilis, which lived around 1.5 million years ago or more in Africa.<纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com/>
但在《科学公共图书馆-综合》(PLOS One)发表的一项研究中，澳大利亚新南威尔士大学(University of New South Wales Australia)古生物学家达伦·克诺伊(Darren Curnoe)及同事表示，这根股骨和直立人或能人的股骨非常类似，而他们大约150万年前或更早的时候生活在非洲。
The finding suggests that early hominins may not have immediately disappeared in China after the appearance of modern humans.
“It seems likely now that there was extensive overlap in time between archaic and modern humans for tens of thousands of years,” Dr. Curnoe said.
In 2012, he and his colleagues studied teeth and cranial and jaw bones from Maludong. Radiocarbon dating revealed the remains to be about 14,000 years old as well.
Next, the researchers would like to extract DNA from bones found in the cave. But because the thigh bone shows signs of having been burned, ancient human DNA may not have survived.