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Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.

Berger LR, Hawks J, de Ruiter DJ, Churchill SE, Schmid P, Delezene LK, Kivell TL, Garvin HM, Williams SA, DeSilva JM, Skinner MM, Musiba CM, Cameron N, Holliday TW, Harcourt-Smith W, Ackermann RR, Bastir M, Bogin B, Bolter D, Brophy J, Cofran ZD, Congdon KA, Deane AS, Dembo M, Drapeau M, Elliott MC, Feuerriegel EM, Garcia-Martinez D, Green DJ, Gurtov A, Irish JD, Kruger A, Laird MF, Marchi D, Meyer MR, Nalla S, Negash EW, Orr CM, Radovcic D, Schroeder L, Scott JE, Throckmorton Z, Tocheri MW, VanSickle C, Walker CS, Wei P, Zipfel B - Elife (2015)

Bottom Line: It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb.These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur.Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Evolutionary Studies Institute and Centre of Excellence in PalaeoSciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

ABSTRACT
Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is unique, but most similar to early Homo species including Homo erectus, Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. While primitive, the dentition is generally small and simple in occlusal morphology. H. naledi has humanlike manipulatory adaptations of the hand and wrist. It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb. These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur. Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

First metacarpals of H. naledi.Seven first metacarpals have been recovered from the Dinaledi Chamber. U.W. 101-1321 is the right first metacarpal of the associated Hand 1 found in articulation. U.W. 101-1282 and U.W. 101-1641 are anatomically similar left and right first metacarpals, which we hypothesize as antimeres, both were recovered from excavation. U.W. 101-007 was collected from the surface of the chamber, and exhibits the same distinctive morphological characteristics as all the first metacarpals in the assemblage. All of these show a marked robusticity of the distal half of the bone, a very narrow, ‘waisted’ appearance to the proximal shaft and proximal articular surface, prominent crests for attachment of M. opponens pollicis and M. first dorsal interosseous, and a prominent ridge running down the palmar aspect of the bone. The heads of these metacarpals are dorsopalmarly flat and strongly asymmetric, with an enlarged palmar-radial protuberance. These distinctive features are present among all the first metacarpals in the Dinaledi collection, and are absent from any other hominin sample. Their derived nature is evident in comparison to apes and other early hominins, here illustrated with a chimpanzee first metacarpal and the MH2 first metacarpal of Australopithecus sediba.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09560.004
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fig14: First metacarpals of H. naledi.Seven first metacarpals have been recovered from the Dinaledi Chamber. U.W. 101-1321 is the right first metacarpal of the associated Hand 1 found in articulation. U.W. 101-1282 and U.W. 101-1641 are anatomically similar left and right first metacarpals, which we hypothesize as antimeres, both were recovered from excavation. U.W. 101-007 was collected from the surface of the chamber, and exhibits the same distinctive morphological characteristics as all the first metacarpals in the assemblage. All of these show a marked robusticity of the distal half of the bone, a very narrow, ‘waisted’ appearance to the proximal shaft and proximal articular surface, prominent crests for attachment of M. opponens pollicis and M. first dorsal interosseous, and a prominent ridge running down the palmar aspect of the bone. The heads of these metacarpals are dorsopalmarly flat and strongly asymmetric, with an enlarged palmar-radial protuberance. These distinctive features are present among all the first metacarpals in the Dinaledi collection, and are absent from any other hominin sample. Their derived nature is evident in comparison to apes and other early hominins, here illustrated with a chimpanzee first metacarpal and the MH2 first metacarpal of Australopithecus sediba.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09560.004

Mentions: The depth of evidence of H. naledi may provide a perspective on the variation to be expected within fossil hominin taxa (Lordkipanidze et al., 2013; Bermúdez de Castro et al., 2014). The entire Dinaledi collection is remarkably homogeneous. There is very little size variation among adult elements within the collection. Eight body mass estimates from the femur (Table 2) have a standard deviation of only 4.3 kilograms, for a body mass coefficient of variation (CV) of only 9%. The CV of body mass within most human populations is substantially higher than this, with an average near 15% (McKellar and Hendry, 2009). Likewise, the size variation of cranial and dental elements is minimal. With 11 mandibular first molars, the CV of buccolingual breadth is only 3.2% and for 13 maxillary first molars the CV of buccolingual breadth is only 2.0% (buccolingual breadth is used because it is not subject to variance from interproximal wear). Not only size, but also anatomical shape and form are homogeneous within the sample. Almost every aspect of the morphology of the dentition, including the distinctive form of the lower premolars, the distal accessory cuspule of the mandibular canines, and the expression of nonmetric features that normally vary in human populations, is uniform in every specimen from the collection. The distinctive aspects of cranial morphology are repeated in every specimen, and even the aspects that normally vary among individuals of different body size or between sexes exhibit only slight variation among the Dinaledi remains. One of the most unique aspects of H. naledi is the morphology of the first metacarpal; the derived aspects of this anatomy are present in every one of seven first metacarpal specimens in the collection (Figure 14). Unlike any other fossil hominin site in Africa, the Dinaledi Chamber seems to preserve a large number of individuals from a single population, one with variation equal to or less than that found within local populations of modern humans.10.7554/eLife.09560.004Figure 14.First metacarpals of H. naledi.


Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.

Berger LR, Hawks J, de Ruiter DJ, Churchill SE, Schmid P, Delezene LK, Kivell TL, Garvin HM, Williams SA, DeSilva JM, Skinner MM, Musiba CM, Cameron N, Holliday TW, Harcourt-Smith W, Ackermann RR, Bastir M, Bogin B, Bolter D, Brophy J, Cofran ZD, Congdon KA, Deane AS, Dembo M, Drapeau M, Elliott MC, Feuerriegel EM, Garcia-Martinez D, Green DJ, Gurtov A, Irish JD, Kruger A, Laird MF, Marchi D, Meyer MR, Nalla S, Negash EW, Orr CM, Radovcic D, Schroeder L, Scott JE, Throckmorton Z, Tocheri MW, VanSickle C, Walker CS, Wei P, Zipfel B - Elife (2015)

First metacarpals of H. naledi.Seven first metacarpals have been recovered from the Dinaledi Chamber. U.W. 101-1321 is the right first metacarpal of the associated Hand 1 found in articulation. U.W. 101-1282 and U.W. 101-1641 are anatomically similar left and right first metacarpals, which we hypothesize as antimeres, both were recovered from excavation. U.W. 101-007 was collected from the surface of the chamber, and exhibits the same distinctive morphological characteristics as all the first metacarpals in the assemblage. All of these show a marked robusticity of the distal half of the bone, a very narrow, ‘waisted’ appearance to the proximal shaft and proximal articular surface, prominent crests for attachment of M. opponens pollicis and M. first dorsal interosseous, and a prominent ridge running down the palmar aspect of the bone. The heads of these metacarpals are dorsopalmarly flat and strongly asymmetric, with an enlarged palmar-radial protuberance. These distinctive features are present among all the first metacarpals in the Dinaledi collection, and are absent from any other hominin sample. Their derived nature is evident in comparison to apes and other early hominins, here illustrated with a chimpanzee first metacarpal and the MH2 first metacarpal of Australopithecus sediba.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09560.004
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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fig14: First metacarpals of H. naledi.Seven first metacarpals have been recovered from the Dinaledi Chamber. U.W. 101-1321 is the right first metacarpal of the associated Hand 1 found in articulation. U.W. 101-1282 and U.W. 101-1641 are anatomically similar left and right first metacarpals, which we hypothesize as antimeres, both were recovered from excavation. U.W. 101-007 was collected from the surface of the chamber, and exhibits the same distinctive morphological characteristics as all the first metacarpals in the assemblage. All of these show a marked robusticity of the distal half of the bone, a very narrow, ‘waisted’ appearance to the proximal shaft and proximal articular surface, prominent crests for attachment of M. opponens pollicis and M. first dorsal interosseous, and a prominent ridge running down the palmar aspect of the bone. The heads of these metacarpals are dorsopalmarly flat and strongly asymmetric, with an enlarged palmar-radial protuberance. These distinctive features are present among all the first metacarpals in the Dinaledi collection, and are absent from any other hominin sample. Their derived nature is evident in comparison to apes and other early hominins, here illustrated with a chimpanzee first metacarpal and the MH2 first metacarpal of Australopithecus sediba.DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09560.004
Mentions: The depth of evidence of H. naledi may provide a perspective on the variation to be expected within fossil hominin taxa (Lordkipanidze et al., 2013; Bermúdez de Castro et al., 2014). The entire Dinaledi collection is remarkably homogeneous. There is very little size variation among adult elements within the collection. Eight body mass estimates from the femur (Table 2) have a standard deviation of only 4.3 kilograms, for a body mass coefficient of variation (CV) of only 9%. The CV of body mass within most human populations is substantially higher than this, with an average near 15% (McKellar and Hendry, 2009). Likewise, the size variation of cranial and dental elements is minimal. With 11 mandibular first molars, the CV of buccolingual breadth is only 3.2% and for 13 maxillary first molars the CV of buccolingual breadth is only 2.0% (buccolingual breadth is used because it is not subject to variance from interproximal wear). Not only size, but also anatomical shape and form are homogeneous within the sample. Almost every aspect of the morphology of the dentition, including the distinctive form of the lower premolars, the distal accessory cuspule of the mandibular canines, and the expression of nonmetric features that normally vary in human populations, is uniform in every specimen from the collection. The distinctive aspects of cranial morphology are repeated in every specimen, and even the aspects that normally vary among individuals of different body size or between sexes exhibit only slight variation among the Dinaledi remains. One of the most unique aspects of H. naledi is the morphology of the first metacarpal; the derived aspects of this anatomy are present in every one of seven first metacarpal specimens in the collection (Figure 14). Unlike any other fossil hominin site in Africa, the Dinaledi Chamber seems to preserve a large number of individuals from a single population, one with variation equal to or less than that found within local populations of modern humans.10.7554/eLife.09560.004Figure 14.First metacarpals of H. naledi.

Bottom Line: It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb.These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur.Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Evolutionary Studies Institute and Centre of Excellence in PalaeoSciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

ABSTRACT
Homo naledi is a previously-unknown species of extinct hominin discovered within the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. This species is characterized by body mass and stature similar to small-bodied human populations but a small endocranial volume similar to australopiths. Cranial morphology of H. naledi is unique, but most similar to early Homo species including Homo erectus, Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis. While primitive, the dentition is generally small and simple in occlusal morphology. H. naledi has humanlike manipulatory adaptations of the hand and wrist. It also exhibits a humanlike foot and lower limb. These humanlike aspects are contrasted in the postcrania with a more primitive or australopith-like trunk, shoulder, pelvis and proximal femur. Representing at least 15 individuals with most skeletal elements repeated multiple times, this is the largest assemblage of a single species of hominins yet discovered in Africa.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus