Scientists discover fossils of new human-like species in South Africa

The fossils are among nearly 1,700 bones and teeth retrieved from a nearly inaccessible cave near Johannesburg.

The skeleton of Homo naledi pictured in the Wits bone vault at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Pic/AFP
The skeleton of Homo naledi pictured in the Wits bone vault at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Pic/AFP

The fossil trove was created, scientists believe, by Homo naledi repeatedly secreting the bodies of their dead companions in the cave.

Analysis of the fossils -- part of a project known as the Rising Star Expedition -- was led in part by paleoanthropologist John Hawks, professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The findings were displayed during a media preview at the Wits bone vault at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

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