China human fossil discovery gets name

March 8, 2013 at 5:53 PM
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LUOYANG, China, March 8 (UPI) -- Fossils of an extinct human ancestor found in China's Henan Province have been dubbed Luanchan Man, named for the county where they were found, scientists said.

Chinese paleoanthropologists say the fossilized teeth of an early human ancestor, Homo erectus, were recently discovered at an excavation site in Luanchuan County in the city of Luoyang, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

The extinct Homo erectus species is believed to have lived from around 2 million to 200,000 years ago, the scientists said.

The Sunjiadong site in Louyang belongs to the middle Pleistocene period, the same period that yielded a fossil dubbed Peking Man, an example of Homo erectus discovered in a cave system near Beijing in the early 20th century, they said.

There have been very few new Homo erectus fossil discoveries in the world since then, Gao Xing from China's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology said.

Researchers working in the Sunjiadong caves said they also recovered a large amount of ancient animal fossils, including deer and rhinoceros, similar to those found along with Peking Man.

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