Scientists have just proposed a completely new classification for several fossils of a new type of hominid. The fossils have been known for years, but researchers have waged a debate over the morphological similarities of this hominid to other species. Now the Homo bodoensis you may be able to maintain your new classification.
This new hominid - actually not completely new - lived throughout most of Africa as recently as the Pleistocene period, between 770 and 126,000 years ago. Now a team of researchers from Canada has proposed the new name and classification ( Homo bodoensis ) for these hominids.
The research, published in the journal Evolutionary Anthropology, was based on a 600,000-year-old skull of the species. The skull, incidentally, was discovered in 1976 in the Bodo D'ar region - hence the name - in Ethiopia. The new type of hominid may, according to the research, have lived even in Mediterranean regions, however.
The debate cited in the introduction, however, was born with the classification of this same fossil in previous research. According to the new study, however, the previous classifications were often contradictory.
In several previous researches, the skull of Bodo D'ar is given two possible names: Homo heidelbergensis or Homo rhodesiensis The first name refers to a type of hominid that inhabited much of Africa and Europe, although the fossil record is scant and diffuse.
The second name, on the other hand, is rarely used by the scientific community. This is because the specific epithet rhodesiensis supposedly refers to the millionaire colonialist Cecil Rhodes, who was responsible for much of Zambia's mining industry. The name therefore refers to British influence and domination over Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Characteristics and classification of the new hominid
Given the period of existence of the Homo bodoensis It is worth remembering that this new hominid lived with several other humans, including Homo sapiens . Neanderthals and Denisovans also dominated most of Europe and Asia until a few hundred thousand years ago.
The research states, therefore, that the Homo bodoensis may at some point have contributed significantly (by interbreeding, for example) to the formation of our species.
Image: Roksandic et al, 2021 / Evolutionary Anthropology.
Furthermore, the authors emphasize that the H. heidelbergensis discovered in Europe should be classified as more primitive Neanderthals, rather than a completely different species.
The new type of hominid is still quite similar in morphology with the Homo erectus in addition to the Homo sapiens. The latter have a more robust face and facial prognathism, in addition to the shape of the skull and brain volume (1250 cubic centimeters in the Homo bodoensis ) are quite similar.
The research is available in the journal Evolutionary Anthropology.