A new human species just dropped.
A study published in the anthropology journal Evolutionary Anthropology Thursday proposes naming a new species that lived over 500,000 years ago.
The study began when three researchers set out to determine what to do with Homo heidelbergensis and Homo rhodesiensis, two human species that lived from about 774,000 to 129,000 years ago. The traits of each species weren't well defined, causing confusion and inconsistencies when scientists went to categorize human fossils.
"We didn't discover anything. We just made a new species in order to be able to talk about what the hominis did in the past," Mirjana Roksandic, a professor of anthropology at the University of Winnipeg and an author of the study, told USA TODAY.
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The new species, Homo bodoensis, basically recategorizes some of those fossils into a better defined species from Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region.
But the new species is a suggestion, so there are no promises the rest of the scientific community will adopt H. bodoensis.
"I hope that just as it fills the void in search of terminology for me, it will also come to be accepted by others to fill that void," Roksandic said.
The study also suggests H. bodoensis was a direct ancestor Homo sapiens, modern humans.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Newly named species likely direct ancestor of the modern human
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