Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 4th, 2010
The Denisova discovery certainly got a lot of play, some of it quite intriguing and unconsciously humorous. One German news blog used Dick Klyver’s Homo floresiensis image from the cover of one of my books, apparently, via this blog. They also seemed to have mixed up material from my X-Woman blog, and called anthropologist John Hawks, “a noted cryptozoologist.” LOL.
Humans (Homo sapiens), Neandertals (Homo neanderthalensis), hobbits (Homo floresiensis), and the Denisova homins shared terra firma, in the recent episode. Now, today, word has leaked out of a new member of the clan, supposedly leading in our direction, which may give us further insights into this crowded Earth.
Mrs. Ples’ bust, meticulously reconstructed, with the fossilized skull of an Australopithecus afarensis, excavated in 1947 at Sterkfontein, today known as the “Cradle of Humankind.” Photo: Dominique Gommery.
An almost complete skeleton of a youngster has been was found in the cave systems in the Sterkfontein region of South Africa, near Johannesburg, an area known for its remarkable past finds. The new fossil species is scheduled to be announced next Thursday, and shall be identified as a new species that is allegedly between Australopithecus and Homo habilis. Can you blame the media for, once again, using the old standby, “missing link“? (Of course, news of a new “living fossil” would have been even more remarkable!)
There is no mistake in your uploading of the above image; the missing species is suppose to be that way. At least, for now.
Media outlets appear to be jumping an embargo, and pre-releasing the word of the upcoming Malapa hominin announcement. For example, see the Thaiindian news service, which identifies this as a child’s skeleton, and the London Telegraph’s “Missing link between man and apes found.”
More formal information will be forthcoming, but here are citations that appear to relate to the forthcoming papers on this discovery:
deRuiter D.J., Churchill S.E., Berger L.R., Carlson K.J., Kibii J., Dirks, P.H,G.M. A new species of early hominin from South Africa. Annual Meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society, St Louis, USA April 13-14, 2010.
Berger L.R., deRuiter D.J., Churchill S.E., Schmid, P., Carlson K.J., Kibii J., Dirks, P.H,G.M. Two new hominin partial skeletons from the Malapa site, South Africa. Annual Meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society, St Louis, USA April 13-14, 2010.
In another recent book I just finished (True Giants, Anomalist Books, 2010), I consider the notion that the floodgates are also going to open to a new era of exciting fossil hominoids (as opposed to only hominids) discoveries or discovery announcements. Will new Gigantopithecus finds be too far in the future from Asian scientists?