New species of human relative discovered in South Africa
Scientists have discovered a new ancestral species in the human family tree dubbed as Homonaledi in South Africa. The new discovered species were named after the location where it was found i.e. naledi which means star in Sesotho, a local South African language. The species has been classified in the genus Homo to which modern humans belong.
Discovery : It was made inside the Rising Star Cave in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa by team of scientists led by Lee Berger, professor at University of the Witwatersrand. They have discovered a huge haul of fossilised bones of these species which is the largest fossil hominin found on the African continent.
Characteristic of Homonaledi species : These species are among the first of our kind (genus Homo) and could have lived in Africa up to 3 million years ago. They have a tiny brain, a primitive pelvis and shoulders. They have more progressive human like body shape of its skull and have relatively small modern-looking teeth, primitive fingers, modern-looking feet and characteristic long legs.