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菲律宾发现的新人种 – 译学馆
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菲律宾发现的新人种

New human species found in the Philippines

在菲律宾的一个洞穴中发现了这一小块骨头
This small fragment of bone was found in a cave in the Philippines
科学家们认为它属于我们之前未知的人种
and scientists think it belongs to a previously unknown species of human.
由于骨头发现于吕宋岛
They’ve named the new species Homo luzonensis,
他们称该新人种为吕宋古人
after the island of Luzon on which it was found.
到目前为止 人们只挖掘出少量关于该人种存在的线索
So far, only a few clues to this species’ existence have been unearthed.
一些手骨和足骨 一块股骨和七颗牙齿
Some hand and foot bones, a thigh bone and seven teeth.
它们都很小
All of them are tiny,
这表明它们的主人都不足四英尺高
suggesting that their owners were under four feet tall.
这是在东南亚发现的第二种矮人
This is the second species of dwarf human to be found in Southeast Asia.
2004年 科学家们展示了弗洛勒斯人
In 2004, scientists presented the skull
俗称“霍比特人”的颅骨
of a small-bodied and small-brained species,
该人种体格矮小 大脑也比较小
named Homo floresiensis, commonly known as the ‘Hobbit’.
这两个人种都生活在大约五万年前
Both species were alive around 50,000 years ago,
与我们的祖先——智人
at the same time as our species, Homo sapiens,
我们的近亲尼安德特人
our close relatives the Neanderthals
以及被称为丹尼索瓦人的神秘早期人类生活在同一时代
and a mysterious type of early human called the Denisovans.
这些人种在亚洲生息繁衍 有时发生杂交
While these groups roamed around Asia, sometimes interbreeding,
而“霍比特人”和吕宋古人的祖先
the ancestors of the ‘Hobbit’ and Homo luzonensis
则可能被孤立在岛屿上
may have been isolated on islands,
岛上资源有限 他们的身材可能因此而变小
where they probably shrank in response to limited resources.
科学家们认为吕宋古人甚至比“霍比特人”更矮小
The scientists think that Homo luzonensis was even smaller than the ‘Hobbit’,
也没有那么健壮
and less robust.
他们的牙齿更是一个谜
The teeth in particular are a puzzle,
它们具有古代和现代人类牙齿的特征 显得十分古怪
a weird mixture of ancient and modern features.
这种不同寻常的特征组合
This striking combination of characteristics,
在任何其他人种中未曾出现
not seen in any other human species,
这让研究团队认为 他们发现了一个全新的物种
convinced the team that they had found an entirely new species.
但是 它从何而来?
But where did it come from?
它的祖先又是谁?
Who were its ancestors?
一种可能性是直立人
One possibility is Homo erectus.
我们知道这个直立行走的物种从非洲走出来
We know that this bipedal species made it out of Africa
并生活在东南亚
and was living in Southeast Asia
这比吕宋古人或“霍比特人”出现在化石记录中的时间还要早
before Homo luzonensis or the ‘Hobbit’ appear in the fossil record.
所以 这两个物种可能都是直立人的缩小版
So, both species could be small versions of Homo erectus.
但这块足骨看起来跟直立人的不像
But this foot bone doesn’t look like Homo erectus,
跟我们的更是完全不同
or our species at all.
这是一块趾骨——近节趾骨
It’s a proximal phalanx – a toe bone
相比智人的趾骨 它比较弯曲
– and it’s more curved than a Homo sapien toe.
事实上 它看起来像是南方古猿的趾骨
In fact, it looks like the toe of Australopithecus,
南方古猿是一种古老的人类近亲
an ancient human relative that
三百万年前生活在非洲
lived in Africa three million years ago
而就我们所知 它们从未离开过非洲
and as far as we know, never left Africa.
这块趾骨引出了一个有趣的问题
The toe bone raises an interesting question
那就是吕宋古人是如何移动的
about how Homo luzonensis moved.
弯曲的趾骨是适合攀爬的
Curved toes are good for climbing
因此可以认为南方古猿是爬树的
and we think that Australopithecus climbed trees,
有时也会用两只脚直立行走
as well as walking on two feet sometimes.
二百五十万年后
Two and a half million years later,
小体型的吕宋古人也是攀爬动物吗?
was the small-bodied Homo luzonensis also a climber?
如果是的话 这将是个惊喜
This would be a surprise
因为我们十分确信
because we’re pretty sure that
同时期的其他人种都是直立行走
its contemporaries were walking upright,
而不是吊在树上的
and not hanging out in trees.
研究人员希望找到更多的骨头
The researchers would like to find more bones
他们也将继续在卡劳洞穴进行挖掘
and they’ll continue to dig in Callao Cave.
在这种温暖潮湿的环境中留下DNA是不太可能的
It’s unlikely that DNA has survived in this warm, wet climate,
但他们或许能从骨头中提取蛋白质
but they might be able to extract proteins from the bones,
来告诉我们吕宋古人与其他早期人种有何关系
which could tell us how Homo luzonensis is related to other species of early human,
这将帮助解决由此发现引出的诸多问题
helping to answer some of the many questions that this discovery raises.
这样看来 在五万年前
So, it seems that 50,000 years ago,
生活在亚洲的不同人种的数量
Asia was home to a far more diverse
比我们想象的要多得多
bunch of humans than we first thought.
体型小的生活在岛屿上
Small ones on islands.
一些可能生活在树上
Some possibly living in trees.
体型较大的则生活在大陆上 有时候也会杂交
Larger ones on the mainland, sometimes interbreeding.
我们人类的进化过程很混乱 复杂 但也令人着迷
The evolution of our species is messy, complicated and fascinating.

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吕宋岛发现的新人种

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGN2DvDYWgc

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