Our Homo naledi resource page has everything you need for a classroom presentation or project. We will periodically update this page with new resources as they become available! If you have additional resources, please let us know using the comments area below.
Homo naledi is a new species of human ancestor discovered in the Rising Star Cave outside of Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2013. National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and professor at the University of the Witwatersrand Lee Berger led the international team of researchers in this expedition. The discovery of Homo naledi could permanently change our understanding of human evolution due to the fact that Homo naledi appears to have buried its dead. Before the discovery of Homo naledi, scientists thought burial of the dead was a behavior specific to humans.
- Discovered November 2013 at the Rising Star Cave in South Africa
- Homo naledi’s brain was no bigger than an orange
- Human-like hands that had finger bones locked into a curve, which suggests they were used for frequent climbing
- About 5 feet tall with long leg and human-like feet
- Suggests that they had the ability to walk long distances
- Scientists have discovered more than 1,500 fossil remains, making it the largest single hominin found on the African continent. The fossils included everything from infants to teens to old individuals.
Videos of Lee Berger discussing the discovery of Homo naledi:
- MorphoSource: 3D images of the Homo naledi bones
- Homo naledi: New species of human ancestor discovered in South Africa – CNN (September 10, 2015)
- Who Apes Whom? – The New York Times (September 15, 2015)
- This Face Changes the Human Story. But How? – National Geographic (September 10, 2015)
- Homo naledi: 1,500 Fossils Revolutionize Human Family Tree – National Geographic (September 10, 2015)
- New Species On Human Family Tree Discovered In Ancient Mass Grave – Popular Science (September 10, 2015)
- Ancient ancestor of humans with tiny brain discovered – Science Daily (September 10, 2015)
- What can we learn from Homo naledi’s skull? – National Geographic (Sept 17, 2015)
- Dirks, Paul HGM, et al. “Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.” eLife 4 (2015): e09561.
Do you have an update or new article on this topic? Please post the reference below in the comment area below and we will add it to the list!
- Dinaledi Chamber Illustration – Wikimedia Commons
- Homo naledi, hand – Wikimedia Commons
- Homo naledi skeletal specimens – Wikimedia Commons
- Skull – By Berger et al. 2015 [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Page designed by Chloe Shaut. Chloe is a junior at Watauga High School where she is working towards getting an Associate of Science Degree. Chloe is also one of the instructional designers at Ricochet Creative Productions.