Meet 'Homo naledi', the newly discovered human ancestor in South Africa

 Meet Homo naledi, the newly discovered human ancestor in South Africa

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphos and professor Lee Berger hold a replica of the skull of a Homo Naledi, a newly discovered species of human ancestor, estimated at about 2.5 to 2.8 million years old.. AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS

The skeleton of Homo Naledi, a newly discovered human ancestor is displayed during the unveiling of the discovery on September 10, 2015 in Maropeng. A new species of human ancestor, Homo naledi, estimated at about 2.5 to 2.8 million years old was discovered at the "Cradle of Humankind", about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg. At about 5 feet tall and only 100 or so pounds, and with a brain only about the size of an average orange, H. naledi is a startling combination of australopith-like and human-like features that, until now, was entirely unknown to science, researchers said. AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS

The skeleton of Homo Naledi, a newly discovered human ancestor is displayed during the unveiling of the discovery. The species is said to be about 5 feet tall and only 100 or so pounds, and with a brain only about the size of an average orange. AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS

People look at the skeleton of Homo Naledi, a newly discovered human ancestor is displayed during the unveiling of the discovery on September 10, 2015 in Maropeng. A new species of human ancestor, Homo naledi, estimated at about 2.5 to 2.8 million years old was discovered at the "Cradle of Humankind", about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg. At about 5 feet tall and only 100 or so pounds, and with a brain only about the size of an average orange, H. naledi is a startling combination of australopith-like and human-like features that, until now, was entirely unknown to science, researchers said. AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS

People look at the skeleton of Homo Naledi, a newly discovered human ancestor is displayed during the unveiling of the discovery in Maropeng. AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS

Professor Lee Berger kisses a replica of the skull of a Homo Naledi , a newly discovered human ancestor during the unveiling of the discovery on September 10, 2015 in Maropeng. A new species of human ancestor, Homo naledi, estimated at about 2.5 to 2.8 million years old was discovered at the "Cradle of Humankind", about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg. At about 5 feet tall and only 100 or so pounds, and with a brain only about the size of an average orange, H. naledi is a startling combination of australopith-like and human-like features that, until now, was entirely unknown to science, researchers said. AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS

Professor Lee Berger kisses a replica of the skull of a Homo Naledi, the newly discovered human species said to be a startling combination of australopith-like and human-like features that, until now, was entirely unknown to science. AFP PHOTO/STEFAN HEUNIS

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Updated Date: Sep 11, 2015 09:28:40 IST