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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:
- New human-like species discovered in S Africa (BBC)
- Homo naledi: new species of ancient human discovered, claim scientists (The Guardian)
- New Species Of Human Discovered In South Africa (IFLScience)
- Homo Naledi, New Species in Human Lineage, Is Found in South African Cave (New York Times)
- Scientists discover new human species relative: Homo naledi (Los Angeles Times)
- What’s Missing in Studies of a ‘Missing Link’ in Human Ancestry (The Wall Street Journal)
- Homo naledi fossil discovery a triumph for open access and education (The Conversation)
- 6 Tiny Cavers, 15 Odd Skeletons, and 1 Amazing New Species of Ancient Human (The Atlantic)
- This Face Changes the Human Story. But how? (National Geographic)
- Crowdsourcing digs up an early human species (Nature)
- Mysterious New Human Species Emerges from Heap of Fossils (Scientific American)
- New human species discovered (Science)
- Extinct tree-climbing human walked with a swagger (CBS News)