Homo naledi

Discuss various aspects of ancient civilizations and humanity in general.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Homo naledi

#1  Postby Agrippina » Sep 10, 2015 9:30 am

This was the University of the Witwatersrand's big announcement today:

Scientists this morning have revealed the discovery of a new species of human relative, that they believe disposed of its dead deep in a cave and possibly even used fire.

Homo naledi is the latest addition to the human evolutionary tree and was discovered in the Cradle of Humankind, about 40 kilometres west of Johannesburg.

Naledi means star in Sesotho.

This latest find, believe scientists, is going to shake up that tree, as this species could have displayed behaviour that so far has only been seen in humans and Neanderthals.

Professor Lee Berger of Wits University, who led the team that made the discovery, revealed Homo naledi to the world this morning, at a press briefing at Maropeng, in the Cradle of Humankind.

Berger and the multinational team of scientists have been working on the find, since a single mandible was discovered in a remote chamber in the Rising Star Cave, in September 2013,


It's pronounced "nah-led-ie".
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 36689
Age: 109
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Homo naledi

#2  Postby Veida » Sep 10, 2015 10:02 am

They seem to have trouble with dating.
Veida
 
Posts: 852

Sweden (se)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#3  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 10, 2015 10:02 am

Woop! Yeah!

This is what I'd been hearing about for a while - some huge find that was going to be a major discovery! :D

15 partial skeletons... really exciting stuff!
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 27415
Age: 44
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: 'New species' of ancient human found

#4  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 10, 2015 10:05 am

Spearthrower wrote:
It means this new hominin was alive at the same time as several other early human species, suggesting our family tree is more complicated than was thought.


Than who thought?

I've been studying this for nearly 2 decades, and it seems pretty damn complicated to me. Last time I tried to compile a list of all the candidate species of Hominidae was 3 years ago, and there's been nearly a dozen new discoveries since then. I heard about the above find pretty much right after it happened but it takes a few years to report, and there's some buzz going round that there's a major discovery that's been made, but it's being cautiously reviewed. There is excitement afoot in the palaeoanthropology world! :)



So now we know what it is! :cheers:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015 ... on-change/
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 27415
Age: 44
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#5  Postby Veida » Sep 10, 2015 10:06 am

They have collected over 1500 bones. Which is just a fraction of what is in the cave.
Veida
 
Posts: 852

Sweden (se)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#6  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 10, 2015 10:07 am

I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 27415
Age: 44
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#7  Postby Agrippina » Sep 10, 2015 11:29 am

Very interesting.
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 36689
Age: 109
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Interesting new fossils found in South Africa

#8  Postby klazmon » Sep 10, 2015 11:29 am

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/10/new-species-of-ancient-human-discovered-claim-scientists

"Bones found in South African cave are Homo naledi, a new species of ancient human relative, say researchers, but some experts are sceptical of find".

So it seems the sceptics think these fossils are examples of Homo erectus rather than a new species.
User avatar
klazmon
 
Posts: 2030
Age: 110
Male

New Zealand (nz)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#9  Postby Agrippina » Sep 10, 2015 11:36 am

It's nice to see that our tv news is carrying the story.

http://www.enca.com/south-africa/new-human-ancestor-species-buried-its-dead
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 36689
Age: 109
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: Interesting new fossils found in South Africa

#10  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 10, 2015 7:07 pm

klazmon wrote:http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/10/new-species-of-ancient-human-discovered-claim-scientists

"Bones found in South African cave are Homo naledi, a new species of ancient human relative, say researchers, but some experts are sceptical of find".

So it seems the sceptics think these fossils are examples of Homo erectus rather than a new species.



H. erectus skulls found have an average brain volume of around 900cc, while naledi's is 500cc.

H. erectus' post-cranial remains show a range of height similar to modern humans - averaging somewhere in the mid 5 foot range, while the naledi remains are 4.5 - 5ft tall.

There are a lot of other differences too. It can't be an erectus. Of course, the more representatives we find of our family tree, the harder it's going to get to make clear distinctions between them.
I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
Religion: Mass Stockholm Syndrome

Learn Stuff. Stuff good. https://www.coursera.org/
User avatar
Spearthrower
 
Posts: 27415
Age: 44
Male

Country: Thailand
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#11  Postby kennyc » Sep 10, 2015 7:26 pm

This is great stuff, particularly in that the cave appears to be a ritual burial site!
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Photo Gallery - Writing&Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama
User avatar
kennyc
 
Name: Kenny A. Chaffin
Posts: 8698
Male

Country: U.S.A.
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Interesting new fossils found in South Africa

#12  Postby monkeyboy » Sep 10, 2015 7:55 pm

Spearthrower wrote:There are a lot of other differences too. It can't be an erectus. Of course, the more representatives we find of our family tree, the harder it's going to get to make clear distinctions between them.


How preposterous! I always thought that each different stage of this so called evolutionary trail would have clear distinctions so that one day the sciency beard folks could declare the search for the missing link finished once and for all. You make it sound like, all complicated and like it could go on for ever.
The Bible is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
Mark Twain
User avatar
monkeyboy
 
Posts: 5473
Male

Country: England
England (eng)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#13  Postby orpheus » Sep 11, 2015 1:59 am

Agrippina wrote:This was the University of the Witwatersrand's big announcement today:

Scientists this morning have revealed the discovery of a new species of human relative, that they believe disposed of its dead deep in a cave and possibly even used fire.


Sounds like my college dorm.
Let's try for peace in 2018, shall we?
User avatar
orpheus
 
Posts: 7274
Age: 55
Male

Country: New York, USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#14  Postby orpheus » Sep 11, 2015 2:00 am

Veida wrote:They seem to have trouble with dating.


I did too. Socially awkward.
Let's try for peace in 2018, shall we?
User avatar
orpheus
 
Posts: 7274
Age: 55
Male

Country: New York, USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#15  Postby Agrippina » Sep 11, 2015 8:14 am

kennyc wrote:This is great stuff, particularly in that the cave appears to be a ritual burial site!


Yes, it supports my claims that people had some sort of religion long before they even had "big" brains. Religion didn't happen when people started inviting priests to talk to the gods, it happened when people thought there was some sort of benefit from taking care of their dead, and burying them away from the living, possibly so that their spirits wouldn't haunt them, maybe (conjecture), rather than preparing them for an afterlife. To me, that's religion.
Illegitimi non carborundum
User avatar
Agrippina
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 36689
Age: 109
Female

Country: South Africa
South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Homo naledi

#16  Postby Alan B » Sep 11, 2015 12:03 pm

And the convoluted and restricted access to the 'burial' site might suggest that they didn't want the dead (or their spirits) to climb back out...
I haven't read all the articles yet, but were any of the bones deliberately broken?
What is also interesting is that the remains so far discovered appear to be of young adults and children (with one 'oldie'). :scratch:

Image
I have NO BELIEF in the existence of a God or gods. I do not have to offer evidence nor do I have to determine absence of evidence because I do not ASSERT that a God does or does not or gods do or do not exist.
User avatar
Alan B
 
Posts: 9931
Age: 84
Male

Country: UK (Birmingham)
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#17  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Sep 11, 2015 12:23 pm

That is how the cave looks now right? There is no chance that those small gaps have thinned over the years or an opening above the burial cave has closed in the time since it happened? It might be that it wasn't as hard to get in there at the time for the smaller homo naledi.
I. This is Not a Game
II. Here and Now, You are Alive
User avatar
DarthHelmet86
RS Donator
 
Posts: 10344
Age: 34
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#18  Postby DavidMcC » Sep 11, 2015 1:01 pm

DarthHelmet86 wrote:That is how the cave looks now right? There is no chance that those small gaps have thinned over the years or an opening above the burial cave has closed in the time since it happened? It might be that it wasn't as hard to get in there at the time for the smaller homo naledi.

That thought occurred to me, too. I suppose it's a matter of whether the area has been subject to seismic activity over the millenia.
May The Voice be with you!
DavidMcC
 
Name: David McCulloch
Posts: 14913
Age: 66
Male

Country: United Kigdom
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#19  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Sep 11, 2015 1:08 pm

Or the accretion of material blocking the passages.
I. This is Not a Game
II. Here and Now, You are Alive
User avatar
DarthHelmet86
RS Donator
 
Posts: 10344
Age: 34
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Homo naledi

#20  Postby DavidMcC » Sep 11, 2015 1:22 pm

DarthHelmet86 wrote:Or the accretion of material blocking the passages.

Where would that material come from? There are presumably no stalactites or stalagmites blocking the cave, and no mention of wind-blown material at the back of the cave, nor mechanism for a previous through route for air to allow such a wind.

EDIT: Presumably, the "dragon's back" isn't a hugeb pile of bat-droppings, otherwise this would surely have been mentioned.
May The Voice be with you!
DavidMcC
 
Name: David McCulloch
Posts: 14913
Age: 66
Male

Country: United Kigdom
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Next

Return to Anthropology

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest