A multidisciplinary and multinational team of archaeologists, anthropologists and geneticists in Siberia has announced the sensational discovery of a new species of hominid that has become entangled with our own Homo sapiens, leaving genetic traces that can be seen in living people today covering Ukraine and Russia and down through Mongolia, Korea and China. The most shocking aspect of the discovery is that this species has a visible tail, an archaic remnant of its primate evolution millions of years ago.
The discovery was announced by the British paleontologist John Bennett on April 1, which said: "This may be the most significant discovery in human studies of 100 years!"
Scientists have discovered fragments of bone deep in a cave in Siberia in April last year, including parts of pelvic bone, tail bone, femur, and the lower jaw fragment. Initially, they believed that fossils belonged to early modern humans dating back about 50,000 years, as it is known that Homo sapiens are inhabiting the same place at that time. However, the DNA analysis revealed that the bones belong to a single species, which is now called Homo apriliensis after the month in which it was first discovered.
Illustration depicting a human being with a tail
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The new species also shows DNA traces of Denisovans and Homo sapiens, indicating that the three species were crossed at some point. But the most shocking aspect of the discovery is that the experts found that Homo apriliensis would have a small visible tail, an example of resistances where a species has characteristics that have lost all or most of their initial function through evolution.
Although structures called rudimentary often appear to have no function, a rudimentary structure such as a tail can still retain smaller functions or develop new ones, "explains Dr. Bennett.
Contemporary humans have many rudimentary traits, like wise men and appendixes. The coccyx or coccyx is also an example of hypersensitivity and is a remnant of a lost queue.
The human coccyx or "the coccyx" pinkcigarette / Flickr)
All mammals have a tail at some point in their development. In humans, the embryos have a tail for about four weeks, which is about one sixth of the size of the embryo itself. Since the embryo develops in the fetus, the tail is absorbed by the growing body, but the tail or coccyx remains. Gray bone has lost its original function in Homo sapiens in helping balance and mobility, although there are still some secondary functions such as a point of attachment to the muscles. Human embryos have tail for about 4 weeks in the development process
However, in the case of Homo apriliensis the developing fruit would have retained a small tail , which protrudes outward and remains visible after birth. Scientists have called it a rudimentary feature because they do not believe that the tail played a role in balance or mobility, given its short length.
"This is the first time an archaic species hominid is found showing an outer queue. It is unprecedented and completely changes what we know about human evolution, "Mr. Bennett said.
Studies on the new species are still at a very early stage, but the multidisciplinary team plans to release the next stage of the results, which includes determining how soon the species disappeared on April 1 next year.
Top image: Prehistoric species hominid (Andrea Izzotti / Adobe Stock).
Author: Joanna Gillan