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 verso 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 per massive geographic distribution which makes it one of the most successful hominins that ever lived. Our research indicates that Homo erectus likely went extinct paio to climate change . Homo erectus was found with a collection of animal fossils that lived sopra an open woodland environment similar preciso the environment mediante Africa where it evolved. The environment at Ngandong changed, and the open woodland was replaced by per rainforest. In nessun caso Homo erectus fossils are found after the environment changed, so Homo erectus likely was unable esatto 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 mediante the team’s research:

“Now that we finally have verso convincing timeline for the Ngandong site and for the last appearance of Homo erectus we can start preciso 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 (a warm phase

120,000 years ago) – when rainforest corridors enticing rainforest fauna extended down through per connected Southeast Oriente (paio 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 popolazione associated with Ngandong. We suspected that the Ngandong population would have been wiped out at the cusp of the last interglacial at the via of this environmental change, but the new timeline suggests that the drier conditions con Single River valley containing the site of Ngandong probably persevered for longer than expected, this supported a relic Ngandong population as a refugia durante per slightly drier and more open environment afforded by its higher and in-land location. But by 117-108,ooo years ago this refugia could giammai longer be supported by the prevailing climatic and environmental changes and the Ngandong erectus and its associated animali disappeared from the fossil record. As much of the persone died within a very close timeframe it’s likely that the already stressed population was tipped over the edge by some large event – at present we have no proof of what that event was – this is per next reparto of research.”

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

Westaway expressed her excitement to 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 puro weigh-in 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 preciso be classified as separate species from H. erectus, but they are likely insular dwarfs of H. erectus. More fossil evidence and research is need to help clarify the relationships between H. luzonensis, H. floresiensis, and incontri her H. erectus.”

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