In DepthPaleoanthropology

Newest member of human family is surprisingly young

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Science  12 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 571
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6338.571

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A nearly complete skull of a mysterious member of the human family was unveiled this week at the same time as researchers reported a surprisingly recent age for this ancient cave dweller in South Africa. The new fossils of Homo naledi reinforce a picture of a small-brained, small-bodied creature, which makes the dates reported in a paper in eLife all the more startling: 236,000 to 335,000 years ago. That means a creature reminiscent of much earlier human ancestors such as H. habilis lived at the same time as modern humans were emerging in Africa and Neandertals were evolving in Europe.