After remaining unstudied for over half a century, an ancient femur points out the probability that a mysterious humans species might still exist among us, but only in extremely secluded areas of the world. The femur in question was found back in 1959 in China’s Maludong, meaning Red Deer Cave, and has been residing in a museum in southeastern Yunnan.
The partial femur was dated to be almost 14.000 years old, meaning that its owner survived through the most recent Ice Age, making scientist’s former theory stating that Homo Sapiens was the only one to survive that period partially false. Even if the bone in question shows large similarities to bones originating from Homo habilis and Homo erectus, species dating back to 1.5 million years, archaeologists and scientists are currently displaying caution when attempting to classify the bone to a specific species.
This discovery is controversial to say the least, taking into account that the Denisovans, our last remaining relatives, were considered to be extinct since 40.000 years ago. Even though their finding revolves around one single bone, this discovery might completely shift our previous knowledge concerning human evolution and the status of our species’ close relatives.
Through the intense study of the femur, scientists were able to reconstruct a preliminary sketch of our pre-modern relatives. They were considerably smaller than our other pre-modern counterparts as well as our own species after the Ice Age. The size of the bone is similar to Homo habilis femurs, and its elongated femur neck, as well as the placement of muscle attachments, make our newly found relatives weigh around 50 kg or 110 pounds.
This archaeological find was linked by the Chinese Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics to the skull finding in Longlin Cave. The skull in question appears to be a hybrid between modern humans, which eventually became us, and an archaic type of human. The latter may have very well been in the same species as the owner of the Red Deer Cave femur.
Besides the bone, archaeologists found remnants of chewed up deer bones as well as markings made by large fires. This points out the fact that our mysterious ancestor lived inside the cave for prolonged periods of time in order to shelter themselves from harsh weather and various predators. Its location being close to a water source, as well as a tropical evergreen forest, made the cave the perfect shelter and hunting outpost in which to reside.
Taking into account that this mysterious human species might still exist among us, scientists have started to consider the probability that Yeti sightings or other similar fictional creatures might actually be the aforementioned humans, but the chances of this being actually true are extremely low, even non-existent. Given the secludedness of the area, as well as its massive span, the odds of finding other archaeological artefacts are slim to say the least. But this will not stop stop scientists in their constant search of missing human species links in order to further clarify our evolutionary path throughout the ages.