Fossils from Northern Kenya show that a new species of human lived two million years ago, researchers say.
The discoveries suggests that at least three distinct species of humans co-existed in Africa.
The research adds to a growing body of evidence that runs counter to the popular perception that there was a linear evolution from monkey to ape to modern human.
The research has been published in the journal Nature
Anthropologists have discovered three human fossils that are between 1.78 and 1.95 million years old. The specimens are of a face and two jawbones with teeth.
The finds back the view that a skull found in 1972 ago is of a separate species of human, known as Homo rudolfensis
. The skull was markedly different to any others from that time. It had a relatively large brain and long flat face.
With the discovery of the three new fossils researchers can say with more certainty that H.rudolfensis
really was a separate type of human that existed around two million years ago alongside other species of humans.more