Apr 10, 2019

Bones discovered in Philippines may have belonged to new human species

Photo: CESAR MANSO/Getty Images

In a report published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, scientists report that a deposit of teeth and bones, recently discovered in an island cave in the Philippines, may have belonged to a newly identified species closely related to humans and "unknown previously to science," per the Washington Post.

Details: The newly named and uncovered Homo luzonensis fossils found in the Callao Cave of Luzon Island date back to the Pleistocene epoch, between 2.6 million and 11,700 years ago. This is the fourth extinct human species discovered within the last century, showcasing that evolution was less linear than previously thought. The remains would suggest that these individuals lived during the time that Homo sapiens spread from Africa elsewhere around the world. To date, efforts to draw DNA from the remains have been unsuccessful.

What they're saying: ″We continue to realize that [for] thousands of years back in time, H. sapiens was definitely not alone on Earth,” said the author of the report Florent Detriot, a paleoanthropologist with the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

But but but: The study authors “don’t have any heads,” according to New York University anthropologist Susan Anton, who is dubious about the results of the report.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.