9th Aug 2012 8:59am | By Dan Thorne
Ancient remains of a previously undiscovered species of human has been discovered Kenya.
The fossilised remains are from a type of human that lived over two million years ago according to anthropology researchers.
The new evidence suggests that, contrary to the popular belief, there wasn't a single linear course of human evolution, and may in fact have been three separate species of human living alongside each other.
The findings, which were published on Nature.com by a team of researchers, state: "The new fossils confirm the presence of two contemporary species of early Homo, in addition to Homo erectus, in the early Pleistocene of eastern Africa."
Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London told the BBC "Humans seem to have been evolving in different ways in different regions. It was almost as if nature was developing different human prototypes with different attributes, only one of which, an ancestor of our species, was ultimately successful in evolutionary terms."
The discovery of a different type of human skull, named Homo rudolfensis in 1972, was the first indication that there may have been a separate species of human beings living on Earth two million years ago. The skull indicated that human had a long, flat face and a larger than normal brain.