New Species Of Human Discovered In South Africa
Homo Naled = 2+ Million Years Old = Still must learn how old the fossils are and how long the species existed. = A candidate for the base of our genus
Homo Naled = Top limbs from pelvis to shoulders are primitive cone-shaped core + But astonishingly human-like extremities in hands and feet like ours with hands having highly curved fingers perfect to grip things + But their shoulders were able to rotate more than ours, suggesting they engaged in climbing.
Homo Naled = “We can infer from their bodies that they are long-distance walkers, again that’s something almost unique to humans. And it’s pretty clear from those fingers that they’re climbing, but we don’t know what they’re climbing. That’s not a tree climbing hand.”
Homo Naled = Mix of both primitive and human-like features = Exceptionally tall hominid at 5 feet and distinctively slender, with powerful, well-muscled joints = Skinny human proportions and long legs likely because it didn’t have to support much bodyweight = Weighing in 100 pounds + An astonishingly tiny head with small brains like smallest australopith – a group of extinct early hominins = Females’ brains only being slightly larger than a chimpanzee’s at around 27-34 cubic inches = Very small differences between males and females = remarkably similar and were likely closely related and perhaps a multi-generational family.
Homo Naled = Found in narrowest cracks of 7 inches wide with no other entrances to the tiny chamber = This species deliberately and repeatedly disposing of its dead in the protected hidden area = Previously thought to be a characteristic of only modern humans. + How did they navigate a chamber in total darkness through slender, jagged tunnels with death-drops around multiple corners when earliest evidence of controlled fire is only 800 meters away” = “It’s speculation… But animals don’t go into the dark.” = Evidence of ritualistic burial
University of Witwatersrand with National Geographic = announced discovery of an early human ancestor = Homo Naled = Richest single hominin assemblage = expands origins and diversity of man = Deliberately disposing of its dead in an isolated chamber = Source: Journal eLife.
Homo Naled = Amateur cavers found in a cave system known as Rising Star within South Africa’s famous Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site = New Rising Star Expedition started in November 2013 (21 day effort) of 60 scientists and volunteer cavers. = Third Day they discovered “something different and extraordinary” –Lee Berger, Reseach Leader = 15 individuals from a single hominin species = 1,500+ fossil elements from a single chamber of darkness 295 feet from the entrance.
FUTURE = Team believes that thousands and thousands of remains remain untouched with “floor is practically made of bones of these individuals”
Fact = Almost every skeletal element of the body is represented multiple times throughout different age groups, from infants to teens, to young adults and the elderly.