Homo Naledi's Surprisingly Young Age Shakes Up Human Family Tree

Posted: May 9 2017, 8:51am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Homo Naledi's Surprisingly Young Age Shakes Up Human Family Tree
A 'Neo' skull of Homo naledi from the Lesedi Chamber. Credit: Wits University/John Hawks
  • Homo Naledi's Surprisingly Young Age has Puzzled the Scientists

Homo naledi which is a newly discovered early hominin species has the scientists puzzled since it has opened a pandora’s box in anthropology.

The richest fossil site in Africa has yielded its anthropological treasures. Among these is a new hominin species titled Homo naledi.

According to Phys.org, the age of the Homo naledi remains as far as when it was extant shows it to be very young. This early hominin lived 335 to 236 thousand years ago. These primitive beings thus probably lived alongside human beings.

Therefore this is the first time that it has been demonstrated that another species of hominin had been living alongside the earliest humans in Africa. The research effort was published in the journal eLife.

More specimens of Homo naledi were discovered. They included the skeletons of a child and a male adult. The hypothesis was offered that the members of the species known as Homo naledi used to bury their dead in these chambers found at the site rich in fossil deposits.

The dating of the fossils of the Homo naledi was a backbreaking task. Yet the scientists accomplished this in the end.

This species of early man displayed modern human behavior in its habits and idiosyncracies. These behavioral repertoires include: burying the deceased, self-adornment through various trinkets and the use of advanced tools.

This hominin left an indelible impact on the savvy of the anthropologists who studied its remains. It existed in its time in the southern parts of Africa. The fossil record keeps turning up surprises such as Homo naledi from time to time.

According to BBC, the amazement that Homo naledi lent the researchers was something which could not be surpassed. One of the adults of Homo naledi that was found in fossil form had a very complete skull.

Its limbs were examined and they show that this member was capable of long rambling walks and climbing trees and mountains. The terrain this species dwelled in covered most of Tanzania. It was a savannah and woodland area.

According to Washingtonpost, this species is shaking up the family tree of human beings like never before. The fact that Hono naledi lived cheek-by-jowl with Homo sapiens is in itself a cause for wonder and speculation.

This discovery shows that our prehistoric past is far more complex than we would like to think of it as being.

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