The human family tree may be much simpler than previously thought, a newly released report finds.
The report, which was sparked by the discovery of a 1.8-million-year-old skull, suggests that specimens that were previously thought to represent several different human species might actually be different-sized individuals of the same species.
The fossil, known as Skull 5, was found in separate pieces at an evacuation in Dmanisi, Georgia. The skull had a relatively small braincase and a larger face. According to researchers, if the braincase and face had been found at different locations, they would have likely been attributed to different species.
Photo: An oddball skull from a site in the former Soviet republic of Georgia has sparked a debate over early human evolution. (Georgian National Museum)