Archaeologists who discovered fossil bones and teeth of a previously unknown human species that thrived more than 50,000 years ago in the northern Philippines say they plan more diggings and better protection of the popular limestone cave complex where the remains were unearthed.

Filipino archaeologist Armand Salvador Mijares said Thursday the discovery of the remains, which belonged to three individuals, in Callao Cave in Cagayan province made the Philippines an important research ground on human evolution. The new specie is called Homo luzonensis after the main northern island of Luzon, where the remains were dug up starting in 2007.

Another archaeologist, Eusebio Dizon, says the remains are the oldest to be found in the Philippines, predating those discovered in Tabon Cave by thousands of years.

Bones recovered from Callao Cave belonging to a new specie scientists called Homo luzonensis are presented to reporters in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Bones recovered from Callao Cave belonging to a new specie scientists called Homo luzonensis are presented to reporters in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Filipino archeologist Armand Salvador Mijares shows bones and teeth they recovered from Callao Cave belonging to a new specie they called Homo luzonensis during a press conference in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Filipino archeologist Armand Salvador Mijares shows bones and teeth they recovered from Callao Cave belonging to a new specie they called Homo luzonensis during a press conference in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Fossil bones and teeth belonging to a new specie scientists called Homo luzonensis are presented to reporters in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Fossil bones and teeth belonging to a new specie scientists called Homo luzonensis are presented to reporters in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Filipino archeologist Armand Salvador Mijares shows a Metatarsal bone, one of the oldest they recovered from Callao Cave belonging to a new specie they called Homo luzonensis, during a press conference in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Filipino archeologist Armand Salvador Mijares shows a Metatarsal bone, one of the oldest they recovered from Callao Cave belonging to a new specie they called Homo luzonensis, during a press conference in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
This undated photo provided by the Callao Cave Archaeology Project in April 2019 shows the right upper teeth of the individual CCH6 of the newly discovered species Homo luzonensis. (Callao Cave Archaeology Project via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Callao Cave Archaeology Project in April 2019 shows the right upper teeth of the individual CCH6 of the newly discovered species Homo luzonensis. (Callao Cave Archaeology Project via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Callao Cave Archaeology Project in April 2019 shows Callao Cave on Luzon Island of the Philippines, where the fossils of Homo luzonensis were discovered. (Callao Cave Archaeology Project via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Callao Cave Archaeology Project in April 2019 shows Callao Cave on Luzon Island of the Philippines, where the fossils of Homo luzonensis were discovered. (Callao Cave Archaeology Project via AP)

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