Analysis of an ancient thigh bone suggests that a species of early hominin may have survived as late as 14,000 years ago in southwest China.对一根古代股骨的分析表明，有一个早期人亚族物种有可能在中国西南地区存活到了近至1.4万年前。The bone was discovered in 1989 along with other human remains at a site known as Maludong, or Red Deer Cave. Scientists have not yet ascribed the bone to a particular species.这根股骨和其他一些人类遗骸是1989年在一个被称作“马鹿洞”的地方找到的。科学家们仍然没把这根股骨不属于一个特定物种。
But in a study in the journal PLOS One, Darren Curnoe, a paleontologist at the University of New South Wales Australia, and his colleagues report that the thigh bone strongly resembles those of Homo erectus or Homo habilis, which lived around 1.5 million years ago or more in Africa.但在《科学公共图书馆-综合》(PLOS One)公开发表的一项研究中，澳大利亚新南威尔士大学(University of New South Wales Australia)古生物学家达伦·克诺伊(Darren Curnoe)及同事回应，这根股骨和直立人或能人的股骨十分类似于，而他们约150万年前或更加早于的时候生活在非洲。The finding suggests that early hominins may not have immediately disappeared in China after the appearance of modern humans.这一找到指出，现代人经常出现后，早期人亚族物种有可能并没在中国立刻消失。
“It seems likely now that there was extensive overlap in time between archaic and modern humans for tens of thousands of years,” Dr. Curnoe said.“很有可能在约数万年时间里，古人类和现代人仍然并存，”克诺伊说道。In 2012, he and his colleagues studied teeth and cranial and jaw bones from Maludong. Radiocarbon dating revealed the remains to be about 14,000 years old as well.2012年，他和同事研究了马鹿洞人的牙齿、颅骨和颌骨。放射性碳测量年表明，这些遗骸距今有约1.4万年历史。
Next, the researchers would like to extract DNA from bones found in the cave. But because the thigh bone shows signs of having been burned, ancient human DNA may not have survived.接下来，研究人员想从马鹿洞里找到的骨骼中萃取DNA。但鉴于这根股骨下有被刺穿的痕迹，古人类DNA有可能没有能保有下来。
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