Discovery of ‘Dragon Man’ Skull May Add Species to Human Family Tree

The researchers named the new species Homo longi and gave it the nickname “Dragon Man,” for the Dragon River region of northeast China where the skull was discovered. The team said that Homo longi, and not the Neanderthals, was the extinct human species mostly closely related to our own. If confirmed, that would change how scientists envision the origin of Homo sapiens, which has been built up over the years from fossil discoveries and the analysis of ancient DNA. But a number of experts disputed this conclusion, published in three papers that provided the first detailed look at the fossil. Nevertheless, many still thought that the find could help scientists reconstruct the human family tree and how modern humans emerged.

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