This Huge Discovery Could Change Everything We Know About Human Ancestry.

This Huge Discovery Could Change Everything We Know About Human Ancestry.

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This is the Homo naledi, a possible new species of human. Our closely related friend here, we'll call him Naledi, was discovered in South Africa by some cave explorers. They presumably were trying to find Batman. Instead they stumbled across a skeleton, one that thrilled scientists at University of Witwatersrand (don't try and pronounce that) so much that they decided to troll the cave for more.
To the scientist's surprise, they found not only Naledi, but 15 other individuals of the species. Infants, teenagers, adults and the elderly.

The puzzle was figuring out why these individuals conveniently piled up in the cave and died. Well inconvenient for them, but convenient for the scientists.

It turns out, we Homo sapiens have more in common with Naledi than just ancestry. The individuals found in the cave appeared to be similar, maybe even several generations of family. This familial connection, and the fact that the cave was extremely isolated, led the scientists to believe they had stumbled upon a ceremonial family tomb. That's right, Homo naledi, much like us, were in the habit of burying their dead. Ceremonially.

In terms of how he was built, Naledi was tall for an early human species. The similarity between a human hand and Naledi's hand is striking. He had powerful joints geared for climbing, and probably optimal for chin ups. However he had a brain almost as small as a chimpanzee's, and an abnormally small head for one so tall.

Scientists estimate Naledi to be minimum 2 million years old, roughly how old my cousin thinks my mom is. He's off by a a few years.

It'll be exciting to see what becomes of our friend Naledi, and what else scientists figure out about this new species of human.

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