Chris Stringer, the research leader in human origins at the Natural History Museum London, explains the Homo longi, the best example of which is the newly discovered “Dragon Man,” like so:
“If Neanderthals are considered distinct enough to represent a distinct species, then the Harbin group also warrants this.”
The “Harbin group” is named for Harbin City, part of China. Long Jiang also means “dragon river” — and Homo longi has picked up a nickname, the “Dragon Man.”
Every week it seems we are discovering something new about the ancient world thanks to innovative analysis techniques of the evidence — pots and pans but bones as well — that remains. Keep scrolling to learn more about this possible ancient human (and see a photo of what we think he might’ve looked like). It’s the lead story by senior science editor Sarah Sloat.
I’m Nick Lucchesi, editor-in-chief at Inverse, and this is Inverse Daily, an email dispatch of the most essential stories from Inverse, where we blend science and culture with original reporting.
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Dragon Man — In a trio of new studies, researchers argue a new ancient human, Homo longi, is an Asian contemporary of Denisovans, Neanderthals, and Homo sapiens. Sarah Sloat has the story on this newly discovered ancestor:
Earth is like a fruitcake — rich, decorated, and filled with unknowable treasures. All that humans have ever been is squished together like candied fruit under the crust.
This is why, in our modern era, girls may pull Viking swords from lakes and farmers can stumble upon woolly mammoths. It’s also why, in 1933 during the construction of a bridge, workers unearthed an unusual ancient skull. Scientists dubbed it the Harbin cranium.
It was a chance discovery, but this massive cranium could completely upend what scientists think they know about modern humans and Neanderthals.
More headlines from the ancient world:
- Ancient human discovery upends the history of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens
- What did Italians eat 2,000 years ago? New discoveries reveal a diverse menu
- A cave nestled in the Russian mountains could solve an ancient human mystery
Whether it’s the science of the relationship between your child and your dog, which dog breeds are best at being around children, or how to make the new relationships work, here’s Inverse’s guide to raising small humans and four-pawed friends together without losing your mind.
More on the science of pets:
- Our full science of pets story index
- Are you supposed to brush your cat’s teeth? Pet experts explain
- Dogs and fireworks: 10 expert tips to help nervous pets calm down
WTF is giant bullet chess? — Danny Rensch is the inventor of giant bullet chess, a version of the game where the pieces are as large as fire hydrants and the time constraints are so tight, players have to run. Emma Betuel has the story:
Danny Rensch gets sweaty when he plays chess. He gets especially sweaty when he plays a version of the game that has chess’s best and brightest dashing around a giant board, doing push-ups on battleground squares, and leaping over a rogue pawn.
Rensch is a CrossFit enthusiast and international master, one level below grandmaster. (The grandmaster title is held by the likes of Magnus Carlsen, Bobby Fischer, or Garry Kasparov.) He is also the inventor of giant bullet chess, a version of the game where the pieces are as large as fire hydrants and the time constraints are so tight, players have to run.
“At the end of the hour of doing it, you’re sweaty and exhausted,” Rensch tells Inverse. “There are a lot of emotionally very intense games.”
More on the science and innovation of sports:
- How technology is transforming sports in 2021
- The future of sports is algorithms, not athletes
- How geeky charm turned a WWII maneuver into a competitive sport
Could Windows 11 be the future of video games? — Windows 11 has officially been revealed, and it could mean big things for gamers. What are DirectStorage and Auto HDR? We’re here to explain. Christopher Groux has the story:
With help from features like Auto HDR and DirectStorage, Microsoft hopes to ensure its next OS is the center of your gaming life, whether you’re a current Xbox customer or a hardcore PC devotee. Below, we explain what the latest reveals mean for you.
More gaming & tech headlines:
- Video game events Summer 2021 calendar: every announcement
- NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti release time: How to get from Newegg, Best Buy, and eBay
- How E3 2022 can avoid becoming the Fyre Festival of video games
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