New Hominin: Homo naledi

• Locate and describe a relevant scientific article that describes H. naledi
• Construct an outline of the H. naledi fossil find and assess whether the characteristics of the fossil are derived or primitive
• Compare the findings of scientific articles that cover a similar topic
• Determine the impact of a new hominin fossil find on the trend of hominin evolution
In Lab 11 you will see and compare craniums of later Homo. Within this comparison, you will see some of the characteristics of the newly discovered hominin, Homo naledi. Recently, H. naledi has been dated to about 236 ka and 335 ka years ago. This means that H. naledi was around at the same time as some of the later Homo. In this assignment, you will locate a scientific article on H. naledi and compare that to the article provided. Then describe the morphology of H. naledi and the impact H. naledi could have on our established ideas of hominin evolution.

Read Gibbons, Ann. “New human species discovered.” Science 349.6253 (2015): 1149-1150. Locate another peer-reviewed scientific article that describes the morphology of Homo naledi. Give the citation and a brief description of the findings of the article.

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Now write a short 1 to 1.5 page, double spaced essay that describes 1) the archaeological site at which Homo naledi was found, 2) at least two characteristics of Homo naledi which are derived or modern-looking (Homo-like), 3) at least two characteristics of Homo naledi which appear to be more primitive, and 4) the impact of the recent findings that H. naledi was likely deposited between about 236 ka and 335 ka years ago on hominin evolutionary trends. Be sure to compare the two articles you have read about H. naledi when discussing the primitive and derived characteristics. Were the articles complementary or did the authors disagree on any interpretations of the H. naledi fossils? Describe any overlap or discrepancies in the interpretation of the fossil morphology.

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