Ancient "Dragon Man" skull is the largest human skull ever discovered

Anita Durairaj
Life-like reconstruction of the "Dragon Man"Credit: Nobu Tamura; CC-BY-SA-3.0

An ancient, fossilized human skull was discovered in Harbin, northeast China in 1933 but it was not until recently that scientists analyzed it in more detail.

A Chinese worker discovered the skull and hid it at the bottom of a well for around 80 years before it was finally recovered and sent to scientists.

The archaic skull was unique because it was larger than any human skull in existence. It was 9 inches long and more than 6 inches wide. The volume of its brain would have been similar to modern humans. The skull was low and long, with thick eye sockets and a thick brow bridge.

The skull was dated 146,000 years ago and would have belonged to a 50-year-old man or younger with dark hair, dark eyes, and medium-dark skin. Researchers determined that he would have been well-built and rugged with a flat face and a rather large nose. He was given the name "Dragon Man."

According to scientists, the Dragon Man belonged to an extinct, archaic species of humans called Homo longi. This is classified as a new species of humans although not all scientists agree with the classification. Moreover, Dragon Man may be more closely related to modern humans than Neanderthals.

Dragon Man lived in frigid, winter conditions along with extinct animals such as the wooly mammoth and giant deer. His habitat was a forested floodplain area.

The Dragon Man skull is not just the largest skull in the human species but it is also one of the most complete early human skulls discovered.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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