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Spectabilis
10-09-2015, 01:24 PM
An amazing find of 1,550 bone fragments in a cave in South Africa and a great debate among scientists as to the dating and the significance of the find. It suggests ritual burials at a much earlier date than homo sapiens, and gradual evolution - no great leap.
http://cdn.mg.co.za/crop/content/images/2015/09/10/skull.jpg/600x600




http://cdn.mg.co.za/crop/content/images/2015/09/10/natgeo.jpg/800x600


The bones were located in a seemingly inaccessible cave until they recruited “skinny anthropologists, biologists, cavers, not afraid of confined spaces”. to undertake the two expeditions. As the illustration shows, parts of the route were under 10 inches high.




http://mg.co.za/article/2015-09-10-from-the-cradle-to-the-grave

C. Flower
10-09-2015, 01:42 PM
An amazing find of 1,550 bone fragments in a cave in South Africa and a great debate among scientists as to the dating and the significance of the find. It suggests ritual burials at a much earlier date than homo sapiens, and gradual evolution - no great leap.
http://cdn.mg.co.za/crop/content/images/2015/09/10/skull.jpg/600x600




http://cdn.mg.co.za/crop/content/images/2015/09/10/natgeo.jpg/800x600


The bones were located in a seemingly inaccessible cave until they recruited “skinny anthropologists, biologists, cavers, not afraid of confined spaces”. to undertake the two expeditions. As the illustration shows, parts of the route were under 10 inches high.




http://mg.co.za/article/2015-09-10-from-the-cradle-to-the-grave


Great stuff, fascinating. Are these 'people' linked to us by DNA, or a separate line ?

This all tends to give the lie to the old idea that humanity (homo sapiens) was in some way special and separate from other evolved life forms.

Spectabilis
10-09-2015, 01:55 PM
No mention of DNA in reports today. The scientists are defending the use of morphology as the only tool for now, so as not to destroy bone material.


http://www.independent.ie/world-news/africa/missing-link-found-new-species-of-human-discovered-in-africa-31516738.html

Spectabilis
10-09-2015, 02:16 PM
Great picture of those scientists at work here:


https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/3b645170eb7caf9b33b8a9043412543f5f1c93f4/134_0_866_668/master/866.jpg?w=300&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&

from http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/10/new-species-of-ancient-human-discovered-claim-scientists

Richardbouvet
10-09-2015, 02:46 PM
If these are fossils then there is only a low likelihood of retrieving DNA.

random new yorker
10-09-2015, 08:15 PM
If these are fossils then there is only a low likelihood of retrieving DNA.

well, it is possible, that's how we were able to extract DNA from Neanderthal to sequence. they will have to use some bone to do carbon dating and then they need a piece that is thick enough to get the DNA material, like the lower jaw bone for example.

without DNA evidence or carbon dating it might be too early to say that it is not Homo erectus ..

morticia
10-09-2015, 09:17 PM
The Neander valley and Spanish Neanderthal bones were approx 40,000-60,000 years old. I'm not sure I'd be too confident about bones more than 200,000 years old, at the very outer limits?

Sidewinder
10-09-2015, 10:57 PM
They've managed it with 700,000 year old horses, apparently, so it may be possible

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130626-ancient-dna-oldest-sequenced-horse-paleontology-science/

Dr. FIVE
11-09-2015, 12:52 AM
Getting claustrophobic looking at that superman's crawl bit. Did they send robots down first to scope it out I wonder

Dr. FIVE
11-09-2015, 01:11 AM
Wednesday - Announcement that Rupert Murdoch bought National Geographic and it will now be a for-profit publication
Thursday - October issue goes to press featuring a potential breakthrough in the history of Humankind

"The will of the capitalist is certainly to take as much as possible. What we have to do is not to talk about his will, but to enquire about his power" - Karl Marx

random new yorker
11-09-2015, 03:41 AM
They've managed it with 700,000 year old horses, apparently, so it may be possible

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130626-ancient-dna-oldest-sequenced-horse-paleontology-science/

well..just finished reading the article at IFLscience and they seem to be confident about close to 3 million years old .. now we are getting into australopithecus (Lucy) territory so it may be a bit difficult to get DNA as Richardb suggested above.

morticia
11-09-2015, 08:42 PM
I'm inclined to think it's unlikely; iirc the horse remains had been preserved in cold northern climates/permafrost areas, not the tropics, and were less than 1Mya old. However, I'd guess someone may try. We shall see [emoji6]

C. Flower
11-09-2015, 08:45 PM
I'm inclined to think it's unlikely; iirc the horse remains had been preserved in cold northern climates/permafrost areas, not the tropics, and were less than 1Mya old. However, I'd guess someone may try. We shall see [emoji6]

Are you convinced that a concentration of contemporary bones in one place is evidence of ritual burial ?

morticia
11-09-2015, 09:13 PM
We do not know what the cave system was like at the time those guys lived. Is it possible it was much more accessible 3MYa ago? Or did some sort of land slip trap a number of resident in the cave? Who knows? They will probably examine the geology, but who knows?

C. Flower
11-09-2015, 09:45 PM
We do not know what the cave system was like at the time those guys lived. Is it possible it was much more accessible 3MYa ago? Or did some sort of land slip trap a number of resident in the cave? Who knows? They will probably examine the geology, but who knows?

I was just wondering, was there any reason why there might be a lot of bones in one place, apart from them having been deliberately placed there for ritual reasons ? Maybe not.

morticia
11-09-2015, 09:46 PM
I was just wondering, was there any reason why there might be a lot of bones in one place, apart from them having been deliberately placed there for ritual reasons ? Maybe not.

Living in the cave, and being trapped there by a flood/land slip/earthquake??

C. Flower
11-09-2015, 09:53 PM
Living in the cave, and being trapped there by a flood/land slip/earthquake??

Just a possibility, but possibly one that can be answered by the archaeologists, depending on whether or not the bones can be seen to be in any ordered / organised kind of collection ?

Of a much more recent date (Viking raids era), the bones of a large number of people including children were found in the deepest part of the Dunmore cave in Kilkenny.

Not considered a burial.

morticia
11-09-2015, 10:05 PM
There is also the possibility that the bones were washed into the cave by a flood that uprooted them from an original burial site, both in SA and Kilkenny?

Spectabilis
12-09-2015, 04:16 PM
Wednesday - Announcement that Rupert Murdoch bought National Geographic and it will now be a for-profit publication
Thursday - October issue goes to press featuring a potential breakthrough in the history of Humankind

And here it is: That National Geographic piece, with great detail on the scientific process and wonderful illustrations and photographs.



http://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/rights-exempt/nat-geo-staff-graphics-illustrations/2015/09/Arrowsbig.png?16

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/150910-human-evolution-change/

http://mg.co.za/multimedia/2015-09-10-details-of-homo-naledi-unearthed

random new yorker
12-09-2015, 05:09 PM
well if there is any chance this species could have overlapped w sapiens (that's us), heidelbergensis and neanderthalensis then the DNA option is back on ..(right side of the slide)

in the article i read inIFLscience experts seemed to be more confident w the 2-3 mya option

they all seem to be in agreement that this is a new species (which is absolutely awesome)

I guess we will biting our nails until we see the carbon dating data.

Only after carbon dating you can speculate about it being a burial site or not.

That's the wonderful thing about Science.

One piece of data opens the door to at least 10 new questions.

random new yorker
20-09-2015, 08:52 PM
I have to leave this here for you, it's is an amazing story brought to the world from the most unlikely source of wisdom - from an out of work 'biker' + his two skinny caver friends - and a team of #distractingly sexy skinny brilliant young women scientists (that CRIED when they realized what they had discovered).

Nova - Dawn of Humanity (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/dawn-of-humanity.html)

Hope you can all watch this.

.... Feeling good.... (Morticia you WILL cry when you watch it :) )