New fossils found in Morocco date our species back 100,000 years

Source: GULSHAN KHAN/Getty Images

It turns out our species may have been around a whole lot longer than we thought — about 100,000 years longer, to be exact.

New artifacts from our ancient Homo sapiens predecessors found in a fossil-rich region of Morocco date back about 300,000 years, according to findings published in the journal Nature. Previously, the oldest fossils on record placed our species in Ethiopia about 195,000 years ago. Additional findings reveal that this ancient population didn't expand out of Africa for another 125,000 years.

The newly discovered fossils — which consist of a skull, a jaw, teeth and some stone tools — reveal that these ancient subjects shared many characteristics with modern humans, but largely differed in terms of brain size and development. Most notably, the fossils show that our 300,000-year-old ancestors had much longer brains than we do today.

Jean-Jacques Hublin, a Professor at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig who reported the discovery, said that while these fossils come from a very young stage in the species’ development, he believes there existed an even earlier stage that has yet to be discovered.

Hublin also explained that it's difficult to place the origin of the species in one specific region of Africa. Rather, he believes the entire continent served as a “Garden of Eden” for early Homo sapiens.

How's that for some family history?

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Abbey Schubert

Abbey is an editorial intern with Mic's news team. She's entering her senior year at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, where she studies magazine writing and editing.

MORE FROM

Paul Manafort is meeting with Senate investigators. Here’s what we know about his Russia ties.

Paul Manafort has Russia links dating back more than 10 years.

Yes, Donald Trump can fire Robert Mueller. Here’s how he can do it.

It's a complicated process, and it could get messy, but he can do it.

Charlie Gard’s parents say they want to take their son home to die

The parents are returning to court to fight for their right to take their son home.

Vatican shuts off historic fountains in the midst of devastating drought

Officials say it's the first time they can recall ever shutting off the Vatican's fountains.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Charlie Gard, human trafficking, Kushner denies collusion with Russia

What you need to know for Tuesday, July 25.

The last baby orca to be born at SeaWorld dies after serious health issues

Kyara was the last baby orca to be born into SeaWorld's controversial breeding program.

Paul Manafort is meeting with Senate investigators. Here’s what we know about his Russia ties.

Paul Manafort has Russia links dating back more than 10 years.

Yes, Donald Trump can fire Robert Mueller. Here’s how he can do it.

It's a complicated process, and it could get messy, but he can do it.

Charlie Gard’s parents say they want to take their son home to die

The parents are returning to court to fight for their right to take their son home.

Vatican shuts off historic fountains in the midst of devastating drought

Officials say it's the first time they can recall ever shutting off the Vatican's fountains.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Charlie Gard, human trafficking, Kushner denies collusion with Russia

What you need to know for Tuesday, July 25.

The last baby orca to be born at SeaWorld dies after serious health issues

Kyara was the last baby orca to be born into SeaWorld's controversial breeding program.