Researchers studying fossils from northern Kenya have identified a new species of human that lived two million years ago. The discoveries suggests that at least three distinct species of humans co-existed in Africa.
The research adds to a growing body of evidence that runs counter to the popular perception that there was a linear evolution from early primates to modern humans. The research has been published in the journal Nature.
Anthropologists have discovered three human fossils that are between 1.78 and 1.95 million years old. The specimens are of a face and two jawbones with teeth.
The finds back the view that a skull found in 1972 is of a separate species of human, known as Homo rudolfensis. The skull was markedly different to any others from that time. It had a relatively large brain and long flat face.