The remains of 15 individuals that may have lived 3 million years ago have been found in South Africa and are supposed to represent a new species of the Homo classification (Homo naledi). Associated evidence suggests that they may have engaged in ritual type behavior. Per the article:


The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa. The researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors. The studies which have been published in the journal Elife also indicate that these individuals were capable of ritual behaviour. The species, which has been named naledi, has been classified in the grouping, or genus, Homo, to which modern humans belong. The researchers who made the find have not been able to find out how long ago these creatures lived - but the scientist who led the team, Prof Lee Berger, told BBC News that he believed they could be among the first of our kind (genus Homo) and could have lived in Africa up to three million years ago.

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Hmm, any word yet if they're from our branch of the tree or another?  I forget, how long is DNA viable, in a specimen like this?

As for this line:  "The researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors."

Isn't that what they always say?  :-D




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