About Homo naledi

by Daniel Brouse

Homo naledi bones

Homo naledi bones

In 2015, a new human-like species discovered in South Africa was named Homo naledi. Neledi is a Sotho name originated in South Africa meaning “the morning shining star”.

Homo naledi is different than any other primitive human. Naledi has a tiny brain that is about the size of a gorilla’s. The pelvis and shoulders are primitive, as well. Since it has a more progressive shaped skull, small teeth, and long legs and modern-looking feet, it was put into the same genus as humans.

“I saw something I thought I would never see in my career. It was a moment that 25 years as a paleoanthropologist had not prepared me for,” Prof Berger said.

Originally, the fossils were discovered in September 2013. While exploring the Rising Star cave system in South Africa, Rick Hunter and Steven Tucker of the Speleological Exploration Club (SEC) found a hidden chamber. The remains were thought to be 2 to 3 million years old; however, in 2017 new radiological dating estimated the bones were only 200 to 300 thousand years old.

It is quite possible Homo naledi and Homo Sapien were living together. Now, the search is on for DNA evidence to determine if there was inner-breeding.

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