Scientists are reporting the discovery of a previously unknown species of ancient human that lived in the Philippines over 50,000 years ago.

At the same time, however, the fossils found in Callao Cave exhibit features unlike anything ever seen before, thus warranting the declaration of a completely new human species, Homo luzonensis.

The discovery of Homo luzonensis, with its curious set of physical characteristics, is telling us some surprising new things about human evolution and what happened to the pioneering hominins who left Africa so long ago.

A butchered animal bone found at the Kalinga site in Luzon, Philippines, showed hominins were active on the island as far back as 709,000 years ago.

Incredibly, this dispersal happened long before our species, Homo sapiens, emerged; we finally entered onto the scene 300,000 years ago, spilling into Eurasia about 100,000 years later.

The scientists who found the human foot bone in the Philippines, a team led by Florent Détroit from the National Museum of Natural History in France and Armand Mijares from the University of the Philippines, kept working at Callao Cave in an effort to find more clues.

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