Scientists have found a previously unknown human subspecies, distinct from the present day Homosapiens, that may have lived in China 11,500 years ago.
Fossil remains of a mysterious Stone Age species found in two caves in 1979 and 1989, have finally been analysed, the Daily Express reported.
Three skeletons were found near Mengzi in Yunnan province in 1989, and one partial skeleton was discovered in 1979 in Guangxi Zhuan.
The bones reveal an “unusual mix” of ancient and modern anatomical features, but scientists are not sure how to classify the species temporarily named “red deer” people after the animals they hunted.
“These new fossils might be of an unknown species. Alternatively, they might represent an early and previously unknown migration of modern humans out of Africa,” said Darren Curnoe, from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
The research has been published in the online journal Public Library of Science.