Homo Naledi. While the discovery now prominently regarded as an “early human ancestor” is being widely celebrated, as it is expected to further enlighten us on the origins and diversity of man, many are less willing to celebrate along.
To some, the expected revelations to be made by the recent discovery is bound to contradict their convictions about the origin of humans and is simply implying that Adam (the biblical first man) was an ape. And to others, the whole Homo Naledi thing is a conspiracy bent on establishing that Africans are descendants of baboons.
For instance, ANC’s MP, Dr. Mathole Motshekga reportedly challenged scientists to a debate over the new discovery and ultimately dismissed the Homo Naledi as a “pseudo-science, which seemed bent on trying to confirm that Africans is [SIC] descendants of baboons.” Many have as well tried to substantiate Motshekga’s point of view, questioning why Homo Naledi was reconstructed and illustrated with a black skin color.
Amidst the controversies, it is, however, certain that South Africa gained attention from humans all over the earth when reports about the discovery of a new species of a human ancestor emerged. This is as a result of the anticipation that the species, attributed to behaviors long believed to be unique to humans, could provide the very answer to what all humans have always wanted to know, – the origin of man.
From the foregoing, it’s evidently imperative to provide the under-listed fascinating facts about Homo Naledi.
- The Sesotho name “Naledi” was never meant to associate this discovery to African ancestors as insinuated by many. The discovery was however associated with the name in order to represent where the discovery was first stumbled upon in Rising Star which is located within the famous Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa. “Naledi” means “star” in Sesotho.
- 15 individuals represented by more than 1,500 fossil elements consisting of infants, children, adults and elderly individuals were found within a single chamber, and there are many more remains there untouched.
- Homo Naledi is not a propaganda spreading that humans were once living in caves in South Africa many, many years ago as apes. It’s just a discovery of species that looks like one of the most primitive members of a group with a common attribute(s) which we equally belong to as humans. Homo Naledi seemingly has some human-like features like the deliberate dispose of their dead in isolated chambers being similar to the way we bury our dead. Just regard it as a different kind of extinct humans the way cheaters, tigers, and leopards are regarded as different kinds of cats.
- It is not really absurd to regard Homo Naledi as our siblings. Their feet and long legs suggest the species were engaged with long distance walking like humans, and their feet are virtually indistinguishable from that of humans.
- Their hands with well-curved fingers more than those of other similar species suggest they could use tools and as well possesses climbing capabilities. The hand is almost entirely human-like, except for the fingers which are highly curved
- Although the shoulders are more similar to those of apes, the teeth are similar to other members of our genus (a group with common attributes) like the Homo Habilus.
- Homo Naldi brains are tiny and about the size of an orange.