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New Ancient Human Relative Found in South African Cave

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A team of researchers and scientists has made a groundbreaking discovery of remains belonging to a species believed to be an ancient relative of human beings. This discover was made in the world’s richest fossil site of modern and extinct human species, the Cradle of Human kind.

It’s believed to be the greatest archaeological discovery of early human fossils ever in Africa which may provide clarity on human beings’ origins and evolution.

A massive loot of bones found in a small, almost inaccessible chamber at the back of a cave in South Africa may be the remnants of a new species of ancient human relative. The bones were first discovered in 2013 by Witwatersrand University scientists and volunteer cavers in the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 50 kilometres (30 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.

Homo-Naledi

To date, the expedition has extracted parts of 15 individuals from the subterranean ‘Dinaledi Chamber’ but many believe that the find is only just a tip of the proverbial iceberg. Researchers believe there may thousands more fossilised remains waiting to be discovered in the area. Homo Naledi has a smaller frame than us (homo sapiens) and a small skull housing an ‘orange-sized’ brain. However, in some ways, H. Naledi is amazingly similar to humankind as we know it. Scientists say the hands, wrists and feet of the bodies were similar to modern humans, but the brain size and upper body were much more like the earliest humans.

 

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