Homo Naledi

A strange new skeleton of a new kind of species called homo Naledi was found unveiled on the grounds of South Africa. Almost two years ago the excavation was started which finally brought some results. Scientists say that they have similar features to both gorilla and modern species human.

A brief on Homo Naledi:

Homo Naledi excavation was started in 2015. Anthropologists grouped this species under homo species group after eyeing its similar features with that of human species. The first species of Homo Naledi was found in the South African province of Gauteng in a cave system which is popularly known as rising star cave system of South Africa. Scientists are of the opinion that these fossils are almost 2 to 3 million years old. Further information is yet to be published.

New information about the excavation:

In 2015, anthropologists found some fossils stuck in the cave system of South Africa. That is when the analysis of Homo Naledi started. Scientists have suggested that these species are incredibly primitive in nature. They have a large head like that of Gorilla and similar features to that of the modern human. The species were thus called as an enigma.

Recently, the group of scientists who found the fossils of Nomo Naledi have suggested two new research studies which state:

  • The age of these fossils of original Homo Naledi has unveiled a shocking age which is just 236,000 years old which exactly means that Homo Naledi roamed about freely in the fields of South Africa when Homo Sapiens species (our own species) was actually evolving.
  • Another cave was excavated to find more details about Homo Naledi and it was found that these species practised an astonishingly modern human behaviour which is burying the dead underground.

The progress of the research:

Scientists involved in the research study of Homo Naledi are still of the same opinion that they overlapped the evolution of modern humans. The entire research team consists of Prof Lee Berger from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Prof John Hawks from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US, and their collaborators who have outlined the details of the new specimens and, importantly, ages for the remains.

According to Prof. Lee Berger, ” This is a humbling discovery for science. It’s reminding us that the fossil record can hide things we can never assume that what we have tells the whole story. ”

While the research is trying to figure out more information about the species, there are other groups of scientists who are not the part of the research have urged Berger’s claim when he said that Homo Naledi have human-like behaviour of burying the dead and crafting sophisticated stone tools which led to the commencement of Middle stone Age in South Africa.

The past of human evolution was already complicated enough to be solved. And with this new species in the research lab, things have gotten more complicated. Thus it won’t be wrong to say that human evolution has bigger stories than we think they have.

The studies about Homo Naledi were published on April 2017 in the Journal eLife.