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

Lee R. Berger*, John Hawks, Darryl J. de Ruiter, Steven E. Churchill, Peter Schmid, Lucas K. Delezene, Tracy L. Kivell, Heather M. Garvin, Scott A. Williams, Jeremy M. DeSilva, Matthew M. Skinner, Charles M. Musiba, Noel Cameron, Trenton W. Holliday, William Harcourt-Smith, Rebecca R. Ackermann, Markus Bastir, Barry Bogin, Debra Bolter, Juliet BrophyZachary D. Cofran, Kimberly A. Congdon, Andrew S. Deane, Mana Dembo, Michelle Drapeau, Marina C. Elliott, Elen M. Feuerriegel, Daniel Garcia-Martinez, David J. Green, Alia Gurtov, Joel D. Irish, Ashley Kruger, Myra F. Laird, Damiano Marchi, Marc R. Meyer, Shahed Nalla, Enquye W. Negash, Caley M. Orr, Davorka Radovcic, Lauren Schroeder, Jill E. Scott, Zachary Throckmorton, Matthew W. Tocheri, Caroline VanSickle, Christopher S. Walker, Pianpian Wei, Bernhard Zipfel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    352 Citations (Scopus)

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere09560
    JournaleLife
    Volume4
    Issue numberSeptember2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2015

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