Homo naledi: The discovery of a new Hominid species in South Africa

Discoveries of new species tend to result from a combination of fortuitous luck and scientific nous. The discovery of Homo naledi certainly involved both.

In October, 2013, Rick Hunter and Steven tucker – both recreational cavers – stumbled across some human looking fossils in the Dinaledi cavern part of the Rising Star cave system. Initially fearing them to be the remains of fellow cavers they continued to see how far the cavern went back. On their return journey it became apparent that they may have stumbled upon some hominid fossils – previously, they had been told to be on the look out for fossils in this hominid fossil rich area, dubbed the Cradle of Humankind.

After pictures were sent to Professor Lee Berger an expedition party was assembled. Not more than two months after the discovery of these bones the excavation began…

Continue reading Homo naledi: The discovery of a new Hominid species in South Africa

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Did Neanderthals walk themselves into extinction? an analysis of locomotion efficiencies in comparison to Homo Sapiens

 

The Homo genus originated in Africa around 2-3 million years ago (mya), as the lineage split from the Australopithecine line (Henke and Hardt 2011), the following wide-spread dispersal lead to the colonisation of almost every habitat on Earth as we see today. It is thought that Australopethicines adaptations were confined to habitats in Africa by ecological, physical or climatic reasons, and the adaptations of the Homo species were able to overcome this (Henke and Hardt 2011).

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Continue reading Did Neanderthals walk themselves into extinction? an analysis of locomotion efficiencies in comparison to Homo Sapiens