Homo Naledi – Closest Species To Humans
Just as you thought the Cradle of Humankind heritage site could not get any more enlightening, a new fossil deemed one of the most important in history was found on South African soil.
Homo Naledi, named after the chamber it was found deep in the rising star caves has been revealed to the world after years of its discovery, held back as a secret by scientists and cavers.
Professor Lee Berger who led the expeditions in 2013 and 2014 unveiled the new species at a gathering attended by some of the 60 scientists involved in the discovery. Also in attendance was Wits vice Chancellor Adam Habib and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who was accompanied by a government delegation.
Homo Naledi, unearthed from the largest deposit of fossil ever discovered in the world, is said to have human-like features.
Professor Lee Berger says the species is in fact similar to humankind and is believed to share our ritualistic behaviour of burying its dead, in the very cave the fossils were found in.
About 15 members of these species were discovered with a brain presumed to be the size of a fist because of its small skull. Naledi is said to have feet which are almost indistinguishable to that of a human attached to long legs which stand upright.
This new member of the family tree will be on display for a month at the Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site from September 11 2015 until October 11.