Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Increasingly Muddled Origins of Homo Naledi

"The recent discovery of a new human ancestor in the Rising Star cave system of South Africa shook the family tree. The newest member—Homo naledi—has a mash-up of ancient and modern human features, and the announcement stirred some controversy over whether the specimens are truly a new species.
Two studies published today in Nature Communications only intensify the debate, suggesting that H. naledi was a tree climber, long-distance strider and potential tool-user. 
H. naledi’s skull is closest to that of Homo erectus—the earliest human ancestor with many modern human traits—according to an initial study of the remains. But some of the bones in the trunk, shoulder, pelvis and femur are more similar to those of Australopithecus, an even older group of relatives known for the famed Lucy. But according to new research H. naledi's wrists, hands, feet and lower limbs are more like modern humans than these ancient ancestors..."
Homo Naledi

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