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Young Homo naledi surprises


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The age of the original Homo naledi remains from the Dinaledi Chamber has been revealed to be startlingly young in age. Homo naledi, which was first announced in September 2015, was alive sometime between 335 and 236 thousand years ago. This places this population of primitive small-brained hominins at a time and place that it is likely they lived alongside Homo sapiens. This is the first time that it has been demonstrated that another species of hominin survived alongside the first humans in Africa.
The research, published today in three papers in the journal eLife, presents the long-awaited age of the naledi fossils from the Dinaledi Chamber and announces the new discovery of a second chamber in the Rising Star cave system, containing additional specimens of Homo naledi. These include a child and a partial skeleton of an adult male with a remarkably well-preserved skull. - See more here


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How human were H naledi? They buried their young, apparently, but there is no description of tools or other features of e.g. H habilis. Is it possible that it was a tribe with serious mutations that existed alongside H sapiens and have then become a footnote in history?

There is a family of people who walk on all fours but are definitely human and have serious cognitive difficulties. Imagine if they decided to bury these people in a cave and it was discovered 400,000 years later. Is it possible to call them a distinct tribe of hominins?



Edited by jimmydasaint
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