New fossil remains of homo naledi from the lesedi chamber, South Africa

John Hawks, Marina Elliott, Peter Schmid, Steven E. Churchill, Darryl J. de Ruiter, Eric M. Roberts, Hannah Hilbert-Wolf, Heather M. Garvin, Scott A. Williams, Lucas K. Delezene, Elen M. Feuerriegel, Patrick Randolph-Quinney, Tracy L. Kivell, Myra F. Laird, Gaokgatlhe Tawane, Jeremy M. Desilva, Shara E. Bailey, Juliet K. Brophy, Marc R. Meyer, Matthew M. SkinnerMatthew W. Tocheri, Caroline Vansickle, Christopher S. Walker, Timothy L. Campbell, Brian Kuhn, Ashley Kruger, Steven Tucker, Alia Gurtov, Nompumelelo Hlophe, Rick Hunter, Hannah Morris, Becca Peixotto, Maropeng Ramalepa, Dirk Van Rooyen, Mathabela Tsikoane, Pedro Boshoff, Paul H.G.M. Dirks, Lee R. Berger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The Rising Star cave system has produced abundant fossil hominin remains within the Dinaledi Chamber, representing a minimum of 15 individuals attributed to Homo naledi. Further exploration led to the discovery of hominin material, now comprising 131 hominin specimens, within a second chamber, the Lesedi Chamber. The Lesedi Chamber is far separated from the Dinaledi Chamber within the Rising Star cave system, and represents a second depositional context for hominin remains. In each of three collection areas within the Lesedi Chamber, diagnostic skeletal material allows a clear attribution to H. naledi. Both adult and immature material is present. The hominin remains represent at least three individuals based upon duplication of elements, but more individuals are likely present based upon the spatial context. The most significant specimen is the near-complete cranium of a large individual, designated LES1, with an endocranial volume of approximately 610 ml and associated postcranial remains. The Lesedi Chamber skeletal sample extends our knowledge of the morphology and variation of H. naledi, and evidence of H. naledi from both recovery localities shows a consistent pattern of differentiation from other hominin species.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere24232
    JournaleLife
    Volume6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 9 2017

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience(all)
    • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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    Hawks, J., Elliott, M., Schmid, P., Churchill, S. E., de Ruiter, D. J., Roberts, E. M., Hilbert-Wolf, H., Garvin, H. M., Williams, S. A., Delezene, L. K., Feuerriegel, E. M., Randolph-Quinney, P., Kivell, T. L., Laird, M. F., Tawane, G., Desilva, J. M., Bailey, S. E., Brophy, J. K., Meyer, M. R., ... Berger, L. R. (2017). New fossil remains of homo naledi from the lesedi chamber, South Africa. eLife, 6, [e24232]. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.24232