Humans' ancestors sailed across continents 60,000 years earlier than previously thought

A recent research says that the Homo sapiens, the ancient ancestors of modern-day humans had traveled to other continents 60,000 years earlier than previously thought.

homo sapiens
Skeletal remains from the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History, a permanent exhibition hall that presents the remarkable history of human evolution from our earliest ancestors millions of years ago to modern Homo sapiens, are seen in New York,February 7, 2007. Reuters

A recent research published in the journal Science says that the forefathers of modern humans might have traveled from Africa to other continents at least 60,000 years earlier than previously thought. This migration, which has been believed to have started before 120,000 years, has resulted in their contacts and breeding with other humanoid species leading to the evolution of modern humans.

Archaeological studies found that the modern human behaviors are caused by a series of intermixing of humanoid species over time. The DNA analysis of ancient hominin fossils proved that the interbreeding occurred on regular basis.

Different hominoid species including Neanderthals, Denisovans, mid-Pleistocene Homo and H. floresiensis were present in Asia even before the appearance of the modern human ancestor Homo sapiens in the continent.

While the extensive spread of modern humans still remains debatable, different research groups believe that Homo sapiens were the only humanoid species which could use watercrafts and navigation to find distant lands.

The presence of the human species in widely distant continents and islands are believed to be made possible through the navigation skills and technologies of the early humans.

The archaeologists and anthropologists are also studying the role of climatic fluctuations and environmental events like Toba volcanic super-eruption which might have resulted in the dispersal of modern humans across the world.

Earliest Homo sapiens fossils were found from Africa which dated back to late Middle Pleistocene era. The fossils from later years were found from all the continents.

Researchers had discovered skull of a hominoid species named as Dani from China's Shaanxi in 1978. They studied the Dani skull and found that the species has links that associates with the modern day humans.

The traditional "out of Africa" model of the spread of Homo sapiens across Eurasia states that the species spread like a single wave across the region wiping all the indigenous populations and replacing it. The hominin paleontology, geochronology, genetics, paleoenvironmental and archeological studies found the mixing of the Homo sapiens with the different humanoid species.

The Neanderthals, Denisovans, mid-Pleistocene Homo and possibly H. floresiensis had interbred with the newly arrived humanoid and has left their genetic traces in the modern populations. The Homo sapiens have the most common gene formula found in the modern day human Homo sapiens sapiens.