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Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa

Berger, LR and Hawks, J and de Ruiter, DJ and Churchill, SE and Schmid, P and Delezene, LK and Kivell, TL and Garvin, HM and Williams, SA and DeSilva, JM and Skinner, M and Musiba, CM and Cameron, N and Holliday, TW and Harcourt-Smith, W and Ackermann, R and Bastir, M and Bogin, B and Bolter, D and Brophy, J and Cofran, ZD and Congdon, KA and Deane, AS and Dembo, M and Drapeau, M and Elliott, MC and Feuerriegel, EM and Garcia-Martinez, D and Green, DJ and Gurtov, A and Irish, JD and Kruger, A and Laird, MF and Marchi, D and Meyer, MR and Nalla, S and Negash, EW and Orr, CM and Radovcic, D and Schroeder, L and Scott, JE and Throckmorton, Z and Tocheri, MW and VanSickle, C and Walker, CS and Wei, P and Zipfel, B (2015) Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa. eLife. ISSN 2050-084X

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Abstract

Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is unique, but most similar to early Homo species including Homo erectus, Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. While primitive, the dentition is generally small and simple in occlusal morphology. H. naledi has humanlike manipulatory adaptations of the hand and wrist. It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb. These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur. Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: eLife Sciences Publications Ltd
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2015 08:52
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2015 08:52
DOI or Identification number: 10.7554/eLife.09560
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2026

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