Bonus Blog #3

There are many categories that a researcher can look at to find supporting evidence of a new discovered hominid species. Researchers look at fossils and they can date these fossils by using the law of superstition which states that sedimentary layers are deposited in a chronological sequence with the earliest at the bottom and the most recent at the top. By learning what time period these newly discovered species lived, researchers can determine if it is a hominid species. Researchers can also take a look at modes of locomotion, tool use, brain size, dentition, pelvic bones, hand bones, position of shoulder bones, length of arms to legs, and the paleoenvironment.


I found an article about Homo naledi, which was found in a cave in South Africa by Lee Berger. Burger originally thought that these fossils were from a human, but the small size of the skull and the dentition quickly showed him that this species had ape-like characteristics. The hands were fit for climbing trees. The shoulders were ape-like too. However, the pelvis was similar to Lucy at the top and modern humans toward the bottom. The skull was said to look advanced like Homo, but it was smaller. The dentition was said to be a mix of ape and modern human. In general, most of the fossils discovered from the Homo naledi species is a mix of ape and modern human characteristics. This led paleoanthropologists to believe that these fossils belong to the genus Homo.

The information presented in the article that I found from the National Geographic and the information presented in the lectures is very similar. They both provide the same kind of evidence for determining what Genus each animal belonged to. They go over the same basic characteristics like I mentioned earlier. I like how the article went over how the animals could have gotten in the cave that they their fossils were found. I noticed that the lecture videos went more into mode of locomotion more than the article did. The article just mentioned how the feet of Homo naledi was indistinguishable of a modern human foot.

Copy of article:

2 thoughts on “Bonus Blog #3

  1. I also read an article on Homo naledi. I found it very interesting that the species was a mash up of different ancestors in addition to modern humans. I also found it very interesting that, based on the location and condition of the fossil found, it was determined that Homo naledi might have actually been the first hominid to bury their dead. A fact that was previously supposed started with Neanderthals. I think this is an interesting fact because it demonstrates modern human tradition in a species potentially two million years old, that while Homo naledi isn’t completely human they still have human like behavior. Which is a strong indication that this species could be in our own ancestral branch. As you mentioned, the foot was very close to a modern human foot; like wise their hands were very similar except for their thumb. They had a large thumb and I wonder what the purpose of developing such a thumb was. What was in their environment that influenced them to develop this? I’m glad you brought of the National Geographics article on Homo naledi, I’m looking forward to reading more about this species.

  2. In this week lecture, we truly learned a lot about the categories. And this question that ask for classifying hominid is not hard. I found the dating method plays an important role. Since most of the identifying methods need comparison. Like you said, paleoanthropologist did a lot works on the research of hominid species. They focus on their tool use, brain and bone’s size, and whether they are bipedal. They find these evidence and then comparing these evidence to known evidence to determine what it will be like. These evidence provides a plenty of valuable proofs, letting people learn more about the unknown hominid.

    For the latest foundation about new species of hominid, it seemed like the Homo naledi was really popular recent years. I also referred it in my essay. It had quite similar to some known hominid. For identify its categories, some of the method mentioned in the lecture was used. By their shape of bones, and their dental structure, and the bipedal perference, these evidence showed them a quite similar to man. Their fossil was found in south Africa. There were totally 1550 of their bone fossils. And also there were at least 15 comparatively complete body fossil.

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