Media coverage: New species of human relative discovered in South African cave

Inside eLife
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In their respective research articles -- Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, and Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa-- Berger et al. and Dirks et al. discuss the discovery that sheds light on the origins and diversity of our genus.

Consisting of more than 1,550 numbered fossil elements, the discovery of the new species,Homo naledi, is the single largest fossil hominin find yet made on the continent of Africa. The findings are published in the journal eLife.

Perhaps most remarkably, the context of the discovery has led the researchers to conclude that this primitive-looking hominin may have practiced a form of behaviour previously thought to be unique to humans, namely intentionally depositing bodies of its dead in a remote cave chamber. The fossils — which consist of infants, children, adults and elderly individuals — were found in a room deep underground that the team named the Dinaledi Chamber, or “Chamber of Stars”.

Examples of media coverage featuring the research can be found below: