by Charles Q. Choi, Live Science Contributor | January 27, 2015 11:01am ET
An ancient human fossil discovered from the seafloor near Taiwan reveals that a primitive group of humans, potentially an unknown species, once lived in Asia, researchers say.
These findings suggest that multiple lineages of extinct humans may have coexisted in Asia before the arrival of modern humans in the region about 40,000 years ago, the scientists added.
Although modern humans, Homo sapiens, are the only surviving human lineage, others once walked the globe. Extinct human lineages once found in Asia include Neanderthals, the closest extinct relatives of modern humans; Denisovans, whose genetic legacy may extend from Siberia to the Pacific islands of Oceania; Homo erectus, the most likely ancestors to modern humans; and the hobbitlike Homo floresiensis, who lived in Indonesia. These all are hominins — the group of species consisting of humans and all their relatives after the split from the chimpanzee lineage.