New human relative discovered


SCIENTISTS claim fossils found in a cave in South Africa belong to a new species of human relative called Homo Naledi, which may be an early member of the evolutionary group.

The creature, scientists have said, has a surprising mix of human and primitive characteristics and although not thought to be a direct ancestor of today’s human beings is possible an early member of the evolutionary group that led to our closest extinct relatives.

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Leader of the scientific team professor Lee Berger from Wits University said a hominid about 1.5 metres tall had been found which was very skinny, had strong joint muscles and a brain about the size of a man’s fist.

The discovery was made in the Cradle of Mankind, west of Johannesburg, in a chamber accessible through a very narrow chute, and is the single largest fossil hominin found in Africa.

The find may well change what is known about evolution as the species may have behaved in a way similar to humans and Neanderthals, the scientists have said.


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