University of Cambridge > > Biological Anthropology Seminar Series > Homo naledi, a new homini species from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

Homo naledi, a new homini species from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

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Hominin remains were discovered in October 2013 within the Rising Star cave system (Cradle of Humankind, South Africa). The excavation run by Lee Berger (University of the Witwatersrand) has uncovered 1550 hominin specimens representing a minimum of 15 individuals of a previously undiscovered hominin species: Homo naledi. The cranial and dental morphology of H. naledi is comparable to early Homo species (H. habilis and H. rudolfensis), but departs from these species with several unique features and a smaller endocranial volume. The postcranial anatomy of H. naledi is a mosaic that has never been observed before, including very humanlike feet and lower legs, a primitive australopith-like pelvis and proximal femur, primitive ribcage and shoulder configuration, generally humanlike wrists and hand proportions, combined with very curved fingers and a powerful thumb. The Dinaledi Chamber contains no macrofauna other than the hominin remains, and the accumulation of the hominin bones is most likely to have happened through repeated deposition by H. naledi itself.

This talk is part of the Biological Anthropology Seminar Series series.

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