Scientists Reconstructed An Ancient 1 Million-Year-Old Skull Found In China And Discovered Potential Ties To The Dragon Man Lineage, An Extinct Species Of Archaic Human

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Around 1990, a pair of ancient Chinese skulls belonging to an unknown human species were found in the Yunyang District of the Hubei province, which is located in central China. They were about a million years old. In 2022, a third skull was unearthed within the same area.

Scientists have recently reconstructed one of the skulls, revealing potential ties between the archaic humans, the Dragon Man lineage, and Homo sapiens.

Dragon Man, or Homo longi, is an extinct species of archaic human that was first identified in a nearly complete 146,000-year-old skull from the Chinese province of Heilongjiang, which translates to Black Dragon River.

Some experts have suggested that the Dragon Man is the same species as the relatively well-known Denisovans, an extinct species of human that lived alongside Homo sapiens in Eurasia 285,000 to 25,000 years ago.

After investigating the lineages, the researchers found that the Dragon Man might be linked to the three skulls from the Yunyang District, which have been dubbed the Yunxian Man skulls.

The researchers reconstructed one of the skulls and examined its shape to compare it to other members of the Homo family. They primarily based their recreation on the “Yunxian 2” skull because it was the best preserved one.

Based on the reconstruction of the skull, the researchers came to the conclusion that the Yunxian skull belonged to an early member of the Dragon Man lineage.

“Both the H. sapiens and Dragon Man lineages had deep roots extending beyond the Middle Pleistocene, and the basal position of the Yunxian fossil cranium suggests it represents a population lying close to the last common ancestor of the two lineages,” wrote the authors of the study.

The Yunxian Man fossil is believed to be roughly a million years old, much older than the Dragon Man or H. sapiens lineages.

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