Bones Washed sopra After a Mysterious Mass Death Event

The researchers explain sopra their journal article that the Homo erectus fossils washed upriver of Ngandong as the environment changed from woodlands sicuro per rainforest. They state that “the fossils are part of per mass death event,” and Dr. Ciochon named the possible cause of the extinction, as he told Ancient Origins:

“Homo erectus was an incredibly long-lived species with a massive geographic distribution which makes it one of the most successful hominins that ever lived. Our research indicates that Homo erectus likely went extinct due preciso climate change . Homo erectus was found with per collection of animal fossils that lived sopra an open woodland environment similar sicuro the environment durante Africa where it evolved. The environment at Ngandong changed, and the open woodland was replaced by verso rainforest. No Homo erectus fossils are found after the environment changed, so Homo erectus likely was unable to adapt puro this new rainforest environment.”

The researchers’ Nature article mentions that Homo floresiensis and Homo luzonensis populations were living on outlying islands, close puro the time Homo erectus was alive

Study co-author Dr. Westaway concurred on the impact the environment may have had on the extinction of the Homo erectus population. She also provided Ancient Origins with information on what’s next per the team’s research:

“Now that we finally have a convincing timeline for the Ngandong site and for the last appearance of Homo erectus we can start sicuro explore the potential cause/s of extinction. The new timeline for the Homo erectus last known appearance certainly occurs at per pivotal period of environmental and climatic change during the last interglacial (per warm phase

120,000 years ago) – when rainforest corridors enticing rainforest popolazione extended down through per connected Southeast Asia (due to the lowered sea level) at this time. The encroaching warmer and more humid environment would have caused widespread vegetational changes and caused problems for the essentially open woodland fauna associated with Ngandong. We suspected that the Ngandong population would have been wiped out at the cusp of the last interglacial at the start of this environmental change, but the new timeline suggests that the drier conditions per Scapolo River valley containing the site of Ngandong probably persevered for longer than expected, this supported a relic Ngandong population as verso refugia in verso slightly drier and more open environment afforded by its higher and durante-land location. But by 117-108,ooo years ago this refugia could mai longer be supported by the prevailing climatic and environmental changes and the Ngandong erectus and its associated animali disappeared from the fossil primato. As much of the animali died within verso very close timeframe it’s likely that the already stressed population was tipped over the edge by some large event – at present we have per niente proof of what that event was – this is a next area of research.”

Exposed bone bed mediante Facies A and C sopra Pit G09 from 2010 excavations at Ngandong. (Copyright Russell L. Ciochon)

Westaway expressed her excitement sicuro face that challenge, telling Ancient Origins, “The cause of extinction is the next big step – this may be an even greater challenge than the timing!”

Homo erectus’ Possible Neighbors

Since the relationship between these three ancient hominin species is often questioned, Ancient Origins asked the co-authors of the current study esatto weigh-durante on the debate.

Dr. Ciochon provides the following insight, “Based on the current evidence, there is enough morphological variation for H. luzonensis and H. floresiensis esatto be classified as separate species from H. erectus, but they are likely insular dwarfs of H. erectus. More fossil evidence and research is need puro help clarify the relationships between H. luzonensis, H. floresiensis, and H. erectus.”

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