Human Evolution’s ‘Shadow Species’

Homo Naledi Skull


“Homo naledi seems very similar to modern humans in ways that we think reflect its behavior,” wrote paleoanthropologist John Hawks, Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in an email to The Daily Galaxy. “It had hands that clearly were adapted for toolmaking and tool use. It had teeth that seemed adapted to the kind of high-quality diets that we have thought were a pathway to the evolution of large, humanlike brains. Even though its brain size was around a third the size of ours, it survived for a million years or more in Africa where much larger-brained species lived, including early modern humans.”