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Old 09-10-2015, 11:40 AM   #1
A.T. Hagan
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Default South African Cave Yields Strange Bones Of Early Human-Like Species

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-s...n-like-species


Anthropologist Lee Berger's daughter, Megan (top), and Rick Hunter,
a member of the underground exploration team, navigate the narrow
chutes leading to the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave in South
Africa. That's where fossilized bones belonging to H. naledi, a new
species related to humans, were discovered.
Photo by Robert Clark/National Geographic



A composite skeleton of H. naledi is surrounded by some of the
hundreds of other fossil elements recovered from the Dinaledi
Chamber in the Rising Star cave in South Africa.
Photo by Robert Clark/National Geographic/Source: Source: Lee
Berger, Wits, photographed at Evolutionary Studies Institute



National Geographic paleoartist John Gurche used fossils from a
South African cave to reconstruct the face of Homo naledi, the newest
addition to the genus Homo.
Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic


Quote:
Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of an unusual human-like creature that lived long ago. Exactly how long ago is still a mystery — and that's not the only mystery surrounding this newfound species.

The bones have a strange mix of primitive and modern features, and were found in an even stranger place — an almost inaccessible chamber deep inside a South African cave called Rising Star.
The rest at NPR.

This is a strange one. They haven't yet determined how old the bones are so we don't know if they are relatively recent or quite ancient. They do appear to be a hitherto now unknown species of hominid. Where they are located is one of the strangest parts of the mystery. Unless that part of the cave was much easier to reach back in their time why did they go to so much trouble to leave dead bodies there?
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:15 PM   #2
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Ritual of some sort? Murdered man who was hidden there, so that he'd never be found/his ghost couldn't find its way out to haunt? Someone who liked to go spelunking and got lost?
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:35 PM   #3
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Even if I could fit (which I certainly can't), the thought of wiggling through a long narrow 7 1/2 inch crack underground makes me shudder.


They say they have no idea how old they are. Wouldn't carbon dating get them closer than a couple million year spread?
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:20 AM   #4
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The chemistry of the cave may be making things difficult. The bones are organized - so I do not think the actual bones were just thrown in. Therefor, physice demand another opening. In Florida, we have chimminies to many caves. A chimminy is when a cavern is created by dissolving limestone. A small hole will develop in the top. This small hole - and I have seen and watch many, grows as the ground collapses around the edges of the hole. The cavern will eventually fill up as the roof collapses. I have watched the process many times. It usually takes a few days to weeks. The caverns can a hundred feet deep and immense. Usually, they are the size of a living room. Sometimes, there could be hundreds of these collapsed rooms in a single area. I used to explore the cave systems with all of the other drunk college kids - real sport.
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:26 AM   #5
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There was one room that had a chimney, two entrances (lateral, and opposite), and a small spring (with it's opening). The springs in local caves have unusual life forms and new species making these caves protected areas (in a few cases). This cave is called the "bat cave". It is on a farmers land in Newberry Florida. It might be covered with auto chassis now as an attempt to keep people out.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:04 PM   #6
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Read the detailed article directly from National Geographic.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2...lution-change/
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:00 PM   #7
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Well, at least the National Geographic article tells us why they haven't yet been able to date the bones.

It seems to me the two most important questions remain:

How old are the bones?

How did they get into the part of the cave they were discovered in?
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:24 PM   #8
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:10 AM   #9
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It took a bevy of super skinny female anthropologists to slither into the cave that the skeletons were in..,


Quote:
Berger got funding from the National Geographic Society to excavate the site. And he advertised for research assistants on Facebook — for skinny scientists who weren't claustrophobic. Six women took the job.
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Old 10-06-2015, 01:24 PM   #10
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Did Homo naledi walk on two feet AND swing from trees? Mysterious species of man had uniquely adapted hands and feet - and could even use tools, analysis reveals
Quote:
Named Homo naledi, the species has been assigned to the genus Homo
Scientists unearthed more than 1,500 bones belonging to 15 individuals
It is not yet clear how skeletons - ranging from babies to elderly individuals - ended up in a remote region of a large cave
Bodies may have been disposed of deliberately, or a catastrophic 'death trap' scenario in which the humans got stuck are possibilities
The age of the skeletons are yet to be determined although scientists say they could be anything between 20,000 and two million years old
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...s-reveals.html




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Old 10-06-2015, 01:36 PM   #11
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I FINALLY scored this month's Nat Geo mag on this subject
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:29 PM   #12
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More on h. naledi


Tree-Climbing Extinct Human Had Swagger
OCT 7, 2015 09:45 AM ET // BY CHARLES CHOI, LIVESCIENCE

A recently unearthed extinct human species — perhaps the most primitive ever discovered — had hands and feet adapted for a life both on the ground and in the trees, researchers say.

This finding sheds light on how early humans experimented with a variety of designs, scientists added. And though the international teams of scientists are not certain how this extinct human would have walked, they say the swagger would have been quite different from ours.

More: http://news.discovery.com/human/evol...ger-151007.htm
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:03 AM   #13
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Update on the science of this find

MSM article

Humanity’s strange new cousin is shockingly young — and shaking up our family tree
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.514051b72457


More scientific here:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0509083554.htm

Homo naledi's surprisingly young age opens up more questions on where we come from
Homonin discovered in 2015 by the Rising Star team in South Africa was alive between 335,000 and 236,000 years ago
Date:
May 9, 2017
Source:
University of the Witwatersrand
Summary:
Scientists today announced that the Rising Star Cave system has revealed yet more important discoveries, only a year and a half after it was announced that the richest fossil hominin site in Africa had been discovered, and that it contained a new hominin species named Homo naledi by the scientists who described it.

Scientists today announced that the Rising Star Cave system has revealed yet more important discoveries, only a year and a half after it was announced that the richest fossil hominin site in Africa had been discovered, and that it contained a new hominin species named Homo naledi by the scientists who described it.

The age of the original Homo naledi remains from the Dinaledi Chamber has been revealed to be startlingly young in age. Homo naledi, which was first announced in September 2015, was alive sometime between 335 and 236 thousand years ago. This places this population of primitive small-brained hominins at a time and place that it is likely they lived alongside Homo sapiens. This is the first time that it has been demonstrated that another

---------- Post added at 09:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:00 AM ----------

Schematic of cave system

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