Temporal range: Pleistocene
|Fossil of mandible of Penghu 1|
The fossil was recovered sometime before 2008 by fishermen working in the channel between the Penghu Islands and mainland Taiwan, and described in 2015 by an international team of Japanese, Taiwanese, and Australian scientists.
The fossil is stratigraphically dated to younger than 450 kya, based on prehistoric sea-level lowering to either between 190 to 130 kya, or to between 70 and 10 kya.
The fossil consists of a nearly complete right lower jaw with four teeth, including molars and premolars. The specimen was assigned to the genus Homo based on jaw and tooth proportions, described as most similar to Hexian fossils of Homo erectus, but the species identity or taxonomic relationships lack consensus due to limited material. Co-author Yousuke Kaifu cautioned that additional skeletal parts are needed before species evaluation, but paleontologist Mark McMenamin argued that unique dental characteristics of the jaw were sufficient to establish a separate species, which he dubbed Homo tsaichangensis. Chinese anthropologists Xinzhi Wu and Haowen Tong tentatively assigned the mandible to archaic Homo sapiens, leaving open the possibility of elevating it to a distinct species should more fossils be discovered. In a 2015 paper, Lelo Suvad accepted the validity of the new species H. tsaichangensis.
- "Older low-sea-level events, 225, 240–280, ?300, 335–360 and 425–450 ka cannot be completely excluded as the age for Penghu 1, but such a situation requires explanation for preservation through repeated sedimentary events and the unusual distribution of Crocuta crocuta ultima. Therefore, Penghu 1 is younger than 450 ka, and most likely 10–70 ka or 130–190 ka. Chang, Chun-Hsiang; Kaifu, Yousuke; Takai, Masanaru; Kono, Reiko T.; Grün, Rainer; Matsu’ura, Shuji; Kinsley, Les; Lin, Liang-Kong (2015). "The first archaic Homo from Taiwan". Nature Communications. 6: 6037. doi:10.1038/ncomms7037. PMC 4316746. PMID 25625212.
- Choi, Charles Q. (27 January 2015). "Ancient Human Fossil Could Be New Primitive Species". Live Science.
- McMenamin, Mark A. S. (2015). Homo tsaichangensis and Gigantopithecus. South Hadley, Massachusetts: Meanma. doi:10.13140/2.1.3463.7121. ISBN 978-1-893882-19-5.
- Wu, Xinzhi; Tong, Haowen (2015). "Discussions on the significance and geologic age of Penghu 1 Mandible" (PDF). Acta Anthropologica Sinica (in Chinese and English). 34 (3). doi:10.16359/j.cnki.cn11-1963/q.2015.0000.
- Suvad, Lelo (2015). "Prijegled osnovnih taksonomskih podataka o evoluciji čovjeka: Homo sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 (Chordata: Mammalia: Primates: Hominidae)" [An overview of basic taxonomic information about human evolution: Homo sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 (Chordata: Mammalia: Primates: Hominidae)]. Prilozi Fauni Bosne I Hercegovine (in Bosnian). 11: 107–126.
- Viegas, Jennifer (27 January 2015). "Big-Toothed Fossil May Be Primitive New Human". Discovery News.