Enter the Dragon Man

via 1440 Daily Digest

A fossilized skull discovered in rural China almost 90 years ago likely represents a new species of human ancestor, according to scientists. The artifact has been labeled as part of a new species, Homo longi, which suggests a group of ancestors more closely related to modern humans than Neanderthals. Designated as “Dragon Man,” the skull was named after a river by which it was found.

According to reports, a worker discovered the skull while building a bridge in the eastern province of Harbin, but hid it in a well to evade Japanese authorities (the discovery happened in between two major wars between the countries). The fossil was dated to roughly 146,000 years ago.

Scientists say the skull has a brain fluid volume similar to modern humans, while retaining features such as a prominent brow ridge and large eye sockets reminiscent of older species. Explore humans’ evolutionary history here