Heidelberg Man Links Humans, Neanderthals





What was thought to be a cousin turns out to be parent on the human evolutionary family tree. 

The last common ancestor of humans and Neanderthals was a tall, well-traveled species called Heidelberg Man, according to a new PLoS One study.

The determination is based on the remains of a single Heidelberg Man (Homo heidelbergensis) known as "Ceprano," named after the town near Rome, Italy, where his fossil -- a partial cranium -- was found.

Previously, this 400,000-year-old fossil was thought to represent a new species of human, Homo cepranensis. The latest study, however, identifies Ceprano as being an archaic member of Homo heidelbergensis. 

The finding may shed light on what the species that gave rise to both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens looked like. .......



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