"I told you so...."
New species of human may have shared our caves – and bedsAs fire light flickered on the back of the cave, a group of people ate deer, porcupine and otter. Then a man solemnly took a large bone off the fire, broke it in half and sucked the bone marrow out. He then carefully painted the broken bone with red clay and buried it in the cave.
He observed this ritual because this bone belonged to another human species. One they shared not only the forest with, but also their beds.
This is the remarkable – though so far tentative – picture emerging from controversial discoveries from two caves in south-west China. If true, some think it could overturn our understanding of what it means to be human.
But while these lived about 2 million years ago, this new species lived just 14,000 years ago, says Darren Curnoe of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, who lead the team behind the discoveries. This would make it the most recent human species to have gone extinct.
“If true, this would be rather spectacular and it would make the finds of truly global importance,” says Michael Petraglia at the University of Oxford, who wasn’t involved in the discoveries.
The work is excellent, he says, but is likely to leave many in the field unconvinced.
more plus map etc at: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28687-new-species-of-human-may-have-shared-our-caves-and-beds/