Most MYSTERIOUS Extinct Human Species!
From prehistoric neanderthal fossils to ancient ancestor dna, here is a top 10 list of strange mysteries explaining human evolution!
10 Mysterious Extinct Human Species
Extracts of some early humans that we have inherited a great deal of culture from (earliest art, for example, is known to be by Neanderthals);
One of the early extinct humans are thought to be homo heidelbergensis that averaged 6 feet (so must have had taller individuals) and had larger brains than us:
Another interesting one is a species that had a flat face and larger brains than us, again;
Here is an extinct species of human that may have had a much higher IQ than us and not to mention a larger brain;
Another theory I want to emphasize is that there may have been alot of variation in early humans and thus alot of people who are basically just one species of humans may have been classified into many. A brow ridge can have many shapes, i.e. it can be big or large and differ from person to person. We simply don't have enough information but we did find a bunch of skulls of various sizes in the same area and time period, so it does suggest many skull shape variations was normal in ancient times even more than today.
Here is the jawbone of a human that could be very large. A giant compared to us.
Finally, a human like a hobbit has also been found that went extinct a while back.
National Geographic: Why Am I Denisovan?
When our ancestors first migrated out of Africa around 60,000 years ago, they were not alone. At least two of our hominid cousins had made the same journey—Neanderthals and Denisovans. Neanderthals, the better known of the two species, left Africa about 300,000 years ago and settled in Europe and parts of western Asia. The Denisovans are a much more recent addition to the human family tree. In 2008, paleoanthropologists digging in a cave in southern Siberia unearthed a 40,000-year-old adult tooth and an exquisitely preserved fossilized pinkie bone that had belonged to a young girl who was between five and seven years old when she died.
Recently, scientists successfully extracted nuclear DNA from the pinkie bone and conducted comparison studies with the genomes of modern humans and Neanderthals. Studies show the girl was closely related to Neanderthals, yet distinct enough to merit classification as a new species of archaic humans, which scientists named “Denisovan” after the cave where the pinkie bone was found. The Denisovan genome also suggests the young girl had brown hair, eyes, and skin.
According to one theory, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans are all descended from the ancient human Homo heidelbergensis. Between 300,000 to 400,000 years ago, an ancestral group of H. heidelbergensis left Africa and then split shortly after. One branch ventured northwestward into West Asia and Europe and became the Neanderthals. The other branch moved east, becoming Denisovans. By 130,000 years ago, H. heidelbergensis in Africa had become Homo sapiens—our ancestors—who did not begin their own exodus from Africa until about 60,000 years ago.
By comparing the genomes of apes, Denisovans, Neanderthals, and modern humans, scientists hope to identify DNA segments unique to the different groups. Early results already suggest modern humans underwent genetic changes involved with brain function and nervous system development, including ones involved in language development, after splitting from Neanderthals and Denisovans. Identifying and understanding these genetic tweaks could help explain why our species survived and thrived while our close relatives died out.
The Guardian: Scientists find evidence of 'ghost population' of ancient humans Traces of unknown ancestor emerged when researchers analysed genomes from west African populations
Unlike today, the world was once home to many related species or subspecies of human. And when they stumbled upon one another, mating was not out of the question. As a result, modern Europeans carry a smattering of Neanderthal genes, while indigenous Australians, Polynesians and Melanesians carry genes from Denisovans, another group of archaic humans.
Science Mag: Genetic data on half a million Brits reveal ongoing evolution and Neanderthal legacy
Neanderthals are still among us, Janet Kelso realized 8 years ago. She had helped make the momentous discovery that Neanderthals repeatedly mated with the ancestors of modern humans—a finding that implies people outside of Africa still carry Neanderthal DNA today. Ever since then, Kelso has wondered exactly what modern humans got from those prehistoric liaisons—beyond babies. How do traces of the Neanderthal within shape the appearance, health, or personalities of living people? For years, evolutionary biologists couldn't get their rubber-gloved hands on enough people's genomes to detect the relatively rare bits of Neanderthal DNA, much less to see whether or how our extinct cousins' genetic legacy might influence disease or physical traits. But a few years ago, Kelso and her colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, turned to a new tool—the UK Biobank (UKB), a large database that holds genetic and health records for half a million British volunteers. The researchers analyzed data from 112,338 of those Britons—enough that "we could actually look and say: ‘We see a Neanderthal version of the gene and we can measure its effect on phenotype in many people—how often they get sunburned, what color their hair is, and what color their eyes are,’" Kelso says. They found Neanderthal variants that boost the odds that a person smokes, is an evening person rather than a morning person, and is prone to sunburn and depression.
BBC: Neanderthals cooked and ate vegetables
Professor Alison Brooks, from George Washington University, told BBC News: "We have found pollen grains in Neanderthal sites before but you never know whether they were eating the plant or sleeping on them or what. "But here we have a case where a little bit of the plant is in the mouth so we know that the Neanderthals were consuming the food." More like us One question raised by the study is why the chemical studies on Neanderthal bones have been wide of the mark. According to Professor Brooks, the tests were measuring proteins levels, which the researchers assumed came from meat. "We've tended to assume that if you have a very high value for protein in the diet that must come from meat. But... it's possible that some of the protein in their diet was coming from plants," she said. This study is the latest to suggest that, far from being brutish savages, Neanderthals were more like us than we previously thought.
Article: How we discovered that Neanderthals could make art
A new eraThese results demonstrate that cave art was being created in all three sites at least 20,000 years prior to the arrival of in western Europe. They show for the first time that Neanderthals did produce cave art, and that is was not a one off event. It was created in caves across the full breadth of Spain, and at Ardales it occurred at multiple times over at least an 18,000-year period. Excitingly, the types of paintings produced (red lines, dots and hand stencils) are also found in caves elsewhere in Europe so it would not be surprising if some of these were made by Neanderthals, too.
We don’t know the exact meaning of the paintings, such as the ladder shape, but we do know they must have been important to Neanderthals. Some of them were painted in pitch black areas deep in the caves – requiring the preparation of a light source as well as the pigment. The locations appear deliberately selected, the ceilings of low overhangs or impressive stalagmite formations. These must have been meaningful symbols in meaningful places.
It is perhaps also now time that we move beyond a focus on what makes and Neanderthals different. Modern humans may have “replaced” Neanderthals, but it is becoming increasingly clear that Neanderthals had similar cognitive and behavioural abilities – they were, in fact, equally “human”.
Science Daily: 40,000 year old evidence that Neanderthals wove string
Researchers have discovered the first evidence of cord making by Neanderthals, dating back more than 40,000 years, on a flint fragment from the prehistoric site of Abri du Maras in the south of France.
Note: This article leaves out all the evidence for cometary impact which could alter some conclusions as many people would have been wiped out by the comet including whole cultures, such as the Clovis culture (as one example).
Extract from Science Alert: Nine Species of Human Once Walked Earth. Now There's Just One. Did We Kill The Rest?