New human ancestor found
Professor Lee Berger holds a replica of the skull of a newly discovered ancient species, named "Homo naledi", during its unveiling outside Johannesburg, September 10 2015. Humanity's claim to uniqueness just suffered another setback: scientists...more
Fossils of the creature were unearthed in a deep cave near the famed sites of Sterkfontein and Swartkrans, treasure troves 50 km (30 miles) northwest of Johannesburg that have yielded pieces of the puzzle of human evolution for decades. The new...more
Paleoanthropologists concluded it buried its dead - a trait previously believed to be uniquely human - through a process of deduction. Africa's largest single collection of hominin (human and human-related) fossils was made up of 15 individuals, from...more
Virtually no other remains from other species were found there and the bones bore no claw or tooth marks - suggesting they were not the leftovers from a predator's larder or death trap. "It does appear after eliminating all other possibilities that...more
He set aside another theory that they may have been hiding their dead deep underground, simply to keep off scavengers like the long-legged hyena. "They are only selecting their own dead. If they were doing that they would put everything in it that...more
Homo naledi, discovered in the cave in September 2013, had a brain slightly larger than a chimpanzee's, but its age remains an enigma, said Berger. This is because the specimens found were deliberately taken to the chamber, and so there are no rocks...more
"But we can see from their physical morphology or appearance where their species originates in time. If our present understanding is correct, then that must be in excess of 2.5 million years," said Berger. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
The surrounding area is a U.N. World Heritage site, named the "Cradle of Humankind" by the South African government because of its rich collection of hominin fossils. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Fossils of a newly discovered ancient species, named "Homo naledi", are pictured during their unveiling outside Johannesburg September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa kisses a replica of the skull of a newly discovered ancient species, named "Homo naledi", during its unveiling outside Johannesburg, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
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