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05:32, 21 June 2018 Thursday
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New batch of Homo naledi bones found in South Africa
New batch of Homo naledi bones found in South Africa

Homo naledi is believed to have lived alongside early humans known as Homo sapiens, say scientists

World Bulletin / News Desk

Scientists Tuesday have announced the discovery of another batch of ancient human remains found in the rising star cave system located 48 kilometers from Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city.

The newly discovered species, Homo naledi, is believed to have lived alongside early humans known as Homo sapiens.

“This is the first time that it has been demonstrated that another species of hominin survived alongside the first humans in Africa,” Lee Berger, professor the Witwatersrand University announced in a video from Maropeng in South Africa.

The latest specimens include remains of two adults and a child. One of the adults' skull is reportedly complete.

The new discovery comes barely a year and and a half after scientists announced in South Africa the discovery of the richest fossil hominin site on the continent, unveiling a new species named Homo naledi.

Although they had primitive small-brains, an extensive dating process has found that the Homo naledi species were alive as early as 236,000 years ago.

Professor Paul Dirks of James Cook University said in a statement that dating the existence of these Homo naledi was extremely challenging.

With 19 other scientists from laboratories and institutions around the world, he managed to date it to a period known as the late Middle Pleistocene.

Two years ago, researchers found that Homo naledi people had deliberately disposed of their dead in a private chamber in caves, a behavior which until now was thought to be exclusive to modern humans.

“I think some scientists assumed they knew how human evolution happened, but these new fossil discoveries, plus what we know from genetics, tell us that the southern half of Africa was home to a diversity that we’ve never seen anywhere else,” John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison said in a statement.

The new discovery and research was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, James Cook University in Australia, the University of Wisconsin Madison in the United States, and more than 30 additional international institutions.


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