Figure 12. | Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

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Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

Figure 12.

Affiliation details

James Cook University, Australia; University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; University of Johannesburg, South Africa; University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States; Simon Fraser University, Canada; University of Colorado Denver, United States; Duke University, United States; Texas A&M University, United States; University of Zurich, Switzerland; American University, United States
Figure 12.
Download figureOpen in new tabFigure 12. Comparative examples of surface modifications on bone made by modern snails and beetles and their larvae after four months in controlled experiments.

Gastropods and beetles were found to produce similar modifications to those observed on the Rising Star hominin remains, and remove the surfaces of fresh, dry and fossil bones to an equal degree (see Figure 11). (A) Dry bovid rib showing surface removal associated with evenly spaced, multiple parallel striations made by the radula of an Achatina (land snail). (B) Fresh sheep bone that was originally covered with tissue showing how Helix aspersa (garden snails) have removed the outer cortical lamellae to produce an etched appearance and create circular shallow pits with smooth and striated bases. (C) Dry bovid rib showing shallow, evenly spaced, multiple parallel striations produced by Achatina. (D) Dry bird femur showing large individual striations that are variably arrow-shaped and often overlap, made by Omorgus squalidus (hide beetles). (E) A weathered bovid tooth showing surface removal with a scalloped edge produced by Dermestes maculatus larvae, and with a straight edge associated with scrape marks. (F) Scrape marks created by a D. maculatus adult beetle mandible on a dry medium-sized bovid long bone flake. The scale bar in all samples equals 1 mm.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09561.014