New Species of Human Found in South Africa

A group of international scientists has discovered a new human species, Homo Naledi in a 90 meters deep cave inside the Rising Star, an archaeological site about 50 km from Johannesburg.

The discovered human species would be a bridge between the first and bipedal Homo erectus and according to preliminary reports it has many human features: a very small brain, like that of a gorilla and a bust still partly folded, comparable to that of a monkey. In addition to its appearance, slender but not very high about a meter and a half, what has impressed scientists is the structure of the feet, almost identical to ours.


This would be the biggest discovery of hominid bones ever happened. The team of experts has found 1,500 bones of hominids dating back some 3 million years ago that belong to 15 individuals , among them children, young and old. And many other fossils were collected for the analysis. The collection of bone specimens was particularly complex given the shape of the caves of the archaeological site. A team of six researchers entered the cave and performed 3.5 Km digging with an optical cable. The operation was coordinated with another group of scientists who were on the surface.

A particular cause for surprise is precisely the context in which the fossils were found. From the initial reconstruction, in fact, the posture of the bones and the depth of the discovery suggests that Homo Naledi burying its dead and burial until now was considered a practice that began with the modern man , dating back to 200 thousand years ago with Homo sapiens.


According to Lee Berger, a professor of human evolution at Wits University in Johannesburg,” This is a discovery destined to leave their mark on the paleontological studies,” He said scientists have never been able to reconstruct a human fossil completely.” John Hawks, a researcher who took part in the discovery said “the discovery of homo Naledi changes certainties about the history of human evolution.”

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