First child’s skull of a Homo naledi unveiled

2021-11-05

The first partial juvenile skull of the enigmatic species Homo naledi has been found deep in a cave in South Africa, Science News reports. Researchers found 28 pieces of an orange-size skull and six teeth, which belonged to a small child who lived 240,000 to 335,000 years ago, they report this week in PaleoAnthropology. Although the teeth and bones of almost two dozen other H. naledi individuals have been found in the depths of the Rising Star cave system since the first were uncovered in 2015, the child’s skull was found alone in a narrow fissure, and no remains of its body have been recovered. That location—and the lack of evidence that it was moved by animals or washed into the cave by water—suggests it was buried there by other members of H. naledi, the authors write; that idea is controversial.~sscience.org, 5 November 2021

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