The Diversification of Homo and the importance of H. naledi – #363papers – 2017 – 129

#365 papers for May 9, 2017

Berger, Hawks, Dirks, Elliott, and Roberts, 2017, Homo naledi and Pleistocene hominin evolution in subequatorial Africa: eLife 2017;6:e24234

What’s it about?

H. naledi is a small member of the genus Homo recently discovered and described from the Rising Star Cave in Africa. Here, the fossils are dated and found to be much younger than expected showing that several species of the genus Homo were living at the same time.

Why does it matter?

Previously, scientists have thought that only large-brained members of Homo existed in the late Pleistocene. But these fossils show that at least one other species of Homo was also present then.

Why did I read this?

The discovery of Homo naledi has generated a great deal of discussion. I want to be able to keep up with the science as it pushes forward.

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