New human ancestor found


Story by Haley Wright, Staff Writer

New human ancestor found

Scientists in Rising Star Cave, South Africa made an astonishing discovery date. These scientists had made many recent discoveries, but initially they didn’t think their findings were of importance. They found a fossilized jawbone which they believe to be a part of a new human relative “Homo naledi.”

Lee Berger told CNN, “There is no damage from predators, and there is no sign of a catastrophe. We had to come to the inevitable conclusion that Homo Naledi, a non-human species of hominid, was deliberately disposing of its dead in that dark chamber. Why, we don’t know,”

Burger and his team say they discovered the head and body parts buried underneath the ground of the cave. They think that the Rising Star Cave was a burial ground for this species. Burial rituals and behaviors were previously thought to be limited to human beings of that specific time. Berger and his team knew they had made a grand discovery, but they didn’t think it would create such stir in what we know about human evolution.

Some of the first findings of human burials date back to some 100,000 years ago. Berger’s team hasn’t been able to date the Homo Naledi fossils yet, but they are eagerly working to soon.

Homo Naledi is not quite human though; it has a brain no larger than an orange. Scientists also say its hands are superficially human-like, but the finger bones are locked into a curve. They say the creature was big and tall, about 5 feet tall with long legs. It has feet with five toes, like ours. Scientists suggest that it has a capability of walking on its hind legs.

Berger and his team are thrilled to have made such a great discovery, and shared it with National Geographic as soon as they made their findings. They hope it puts a new look on human evolution and how we view the future.

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