In DepthPaleoanthropology

New human species discovered

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6253, pp. 1149-1150
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6253.1149

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Scientists introduce a new member of the human family, which was discovered by spelunkers exploring the dark depths of the Rising Star Cave in South Africa. They describe 1550 fossils representing more than 15 ancient members of a strange new hominin species, which they named Homo naledi. (Naledi means "star" in the Sotho language spoken in the region of the cave.) It is the largest trove of fossils of a hominin ever found in Africa—and more await excavation at the site in the Cradle of Humankind, 50 kilometers northwest of Johannesburg. Although the fossils are still undated, they already reveal a profoundly different way to be a member of our genus Homo.