The discovery five years ago of Homo naledi, a new kind of hominid coexisting in the South African savanna along with humans near modern humans, could forever change what we know about evolution. 19659002] A team of Russian researchers has presented in Moscow the scientific reconstruction of the head of the mysterious creature discovered by American paleoanthropologist Lee Berger in South Africa, giving his colleagues in Russia a copy of the naledi skull.
"It combines very primitive aspects, such as the brain, more specifically primates, with other sophisticated (like teeth and legs) that are similar to those of today's humans, "says the scientist.
"They are very peculiar, they measure 1.5 meters and have a brain that weighs between 400 and 600 grams, just in the limit separating the Australopithecus (bipedal primate) from Homo habilis, the first hominid that
In fact, the first analysis of the remains of 15 individuals in a deep camera from the South African cave found Rising Star made his discoverers think they were one of the first human species to have lived three million years ago
The Surprise Was Capitalized When The Dating Trials Occurred They revealed that the Naledi lived only 300,000 years ago when the homo rhodesiensis – a human species closest to the human species – was already roaming freely through the South African savannah.
The coexistence of these two species in the same ecosystem indicates that human evolution is different could have gone, "says Drobishevski.
Other human species co-existed in the same historical period but were as diverse as humans and chimpanzees (as in Australopithecus and Habilis). ), or they lived on different continents or separated by insurmountable geographic boundaries.
The manner in which the Naledi and the Rhodesiensis were related, to which some anthropologists refer Homo sapiens, is a mystery.
"They could cooperate and even cross over, in fact the genome of some African peoples such as the Pygmies and Bushmen has genes that have not been explained so far," said the Russian anthropologist.
Since European Sapiens have some Neanderthals in their DNA, the link is lost in the genes of some African cities, could be the genome of Naledi, although the genome of the new species must be deciphered to solve the mystery.
On the other hand, the Naledi's brain, similar in size to that of Naledi, is more primitive, and his primate rib cage, which prevents him from speaking, suggests that his intellect was very underdeveloped.
The only indication of culture emerges from the place where the remains were found: a camera more than 16 feet deep, which can only be reached through a very narrow, only 20 centimeters wide hole, which in principle is the livelihood excludes.
Very likely, Drobishe vski explained, this is that the naledi, who were quite small, used this type of hole for the funeral of their dead, though not as a ritual, but for reasons of hygiene.
The jaws and teeth of these hominids are even smaller than those of modern humans, which breaks one of the postulates of evolutionary theory.
"Until now, it was believed that in the evolution of humans, the size of the teeth is always reduced," Drobishevski said. 19659017] In contrast, the curvature of the fingers of the hand, larger than those of today's monkeys, indicates that they eventually adapted to the environment in which they lived.
"The evolutionary trend is the straightening of the fingers Although the shape of the hand almost matches that of modern humans and is able to build tools, the curvature of the fingers breaks all forms" of what was believed until now
With this data, scientists think that the naledi can go and build tools like a man and at the same time climb like a monkey on the trees.
"Some tools that have been found in the past and were related to Sapiens, could actually belong to the Naledi. Although no remnants of the culture of these beings have been found, the shape of their hands indicates that they were able to produce instruments despite a very small brain, "concludes Drobishevski.