|Multiple hominids lived side by side and even interacted with each other|
-- Fred Spoor at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany
Scientist are becoming more interested in the possibility multiple hominids living side-by-side. A drastic contradiction to the old theory that there was only room for one hominid at a time, each one replacing the former. New fossil evidence increasingly tells us that there were many more hominid species then we first assumed and it is likely they lived side-by-side.
This side-by-side hominid interests began to catch fire with the Hobbit (Homo floresiensis) and has gained further traction as new hominids are discovered to coexist. Dr. Jeff Meldrum, an anthropology professor at Idaho State University suggests the advent of new coexisting hominids gives greater weight to the possibility of a modern relict hominoid living among us. Dr. Meldrum recently shared as much earlier this year during his presentation in Richland, WA. (See the short excerpt from Dr. Meldrum's presentation below.)
The multi-hominids coexisting trend continues as recently as this month (August 2012). A LiveScience.com article reports a possible newly discovered human species may have roamed the planet at the same time Homo erectus and Homo habilis.
New Flat-Faced Human Species Possibly DiscoveredCharles Choi, LiveScience Contributor
New fossils from the dawn of the human lineage suggest our ancestors may have lived alongside a diversity of extinct human species, researchers say.
Although modern humans, Homo sapiens, are the only human species alive today, the world has seen a number of human species come and go. Other members perhaps include the recently discovered "hobbit" Homo floresiensis.
The human lineage, Homo, evolved in Africa about 2.5 million years ago, coinciding with the first evidence of stone tools. For the first half of the last century, conventional wisdom was that the most primitive member of our lineage was Homo erectus, the direct ancestor of our species. However, just over 50 years ago, scientists discovered an even more primitive species of Homo at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania they dubbed Homo habilis, which had a smaller brain and a more apelike skeleton.
Now fossils between 1.78 million and 1.95 million years old discovered in 2007 and 2009 in northern Kenya suggest that early Homo were quite a diverse bunch, with at least one other extinct human species living at the same time as H. erectus and H. habilis.
"Two species of the genus Homo, our own genus, lived alongside our direct ancestor, Homo erectus, nearly 2 million years ago," researcher Meave Leakey at the Turkana Basin Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, told LiveScience.
The bottom line is, as academia finds more and more hominids living side by side in the past, it may not be such a far stretch for them to contemplate it is still happening today.
You can read more details of the possible new species at http://www.livescience.com/22198-new-human-species-discovered.html