KENNIS AND KENNIS / MSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNIS AND KENNIS / MSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Homo heidelbergensis reconstruction. This model is based on Cranium 5, excavated in 1992 from Sima de los Huesos in the Atapuerca mountains of Spain. This fossil dates from around 400,000 years ago. Dubbed Miguelon, this individual had a severe infection caused by broken teeth. The infection reached the bones of the upper left jaw, causing major deformation of his face (right). Homo heidelbergensis is an extinct species that forms a relatively recent part of the human evolutionary tree. It may have been an ancestor of both Neanderthals and modern humans. There is debate over whether the fossils should be attributed to H. heidelbergensis or H. neanderthalensis, as some anatomical features are transitional between the two species.
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