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The recovered jawbone of Penghu 1 reveals it belonged to a new species with large teeth.  Y. KAIFU

The recovered jawbone of Penghu 1 reveals it belonged to a new species with large teeth. Y. KAIFU

Penghu 1 is a mandible with an interesting discovery; Taiwanese fishermen dredged up the jawbone off the coast of Penghu Channel. The fishermen sold it to a local antique shop, where collector Kun-Yu Tsai purchased and donated it to his collection to the National Museum of Natural Science in Taiwan.

Location of Penghu-1

Location of Penghu-1

Tentative dates on this specimen are about 200,000 years old and the mandible is unlike other hominids. The jaw is short and wide with large dentition, unlike sapiens, erectus, floresiensis and Neandertal. Of course this could be either a form of Homo erectus or Archaic Homo sapiens but it does raise a question — Does it mean there is a fourth hominid roaming around prehistoric Asia? Unfortunately given the context this fossil was found, I feel like power behind this finding is lost.

The full text article is published in Nature.

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