Why is Naledi considered a Homo species? What anatomical features does Naledi have to warrant its placement in the Homo genus? Give me one cranial feature and one postcranial feature.

Last week we introduced the hominins and their distinctive upright walking locomotive adaptation.  We also showed how the anatomical features that allow for upright walking among hominins evolved throughout the Pliocene.  By the late Pliocene a new hominin genus, Homo (the humans), began to appear in the fossil record.  Homo like all other hominins is a habitual biped but unlike all other hominins it’s the first to display anatomical features that would have allowed for efficient bipedal running.  In addition, Homo is the first in the fossil record to show an exponential increase in brain size.

Our task this week will be to explore the anatomy of the early members of the genus homo.

A discovery was made recently in South Africa of a potential new human species which has been named Homo naledi.   Your task will be to research Naledi.

You will be graded on the following:


  1. Why is Naledi considered a Homo species?  What anatomical features does Naledi have to warrant its placement in the Homo genus? Give me one cranial feature and one postcranial feature. (5pts)
  2. Does Naledi display any Australopithecus like features? If yes explain what they are and how they migth have been used. (5pts.)
  3. There are some researches that think that Naledi might simply be a Homo erectus while others think that Naledi is its own species.  Based on your research do you think Naledi is a Homo erectus or its own species.  Make sure you back up your claim with research (5pts).
  4. Citations: Make sure you include your citations (2pts).

More than 200 Words(total)

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