H.naledi: the numbers
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Cape Town - The discovery and existence of a new species, Homo naledi (H. naledi), was announced on Thursday, indicating a possible missing link in our understanding of the evolution of humankind.
H. naledi is unique in both its physical structure and the location and nature of its find.
With its mixture of both primitive and human-like characteristics, H.naledi, the climbing, long-distancing walking bi-ped, represents a major contribution to debates around human evolution. Also adding to this debate is the belief that H. naledi intentionally buried its dead, a ritualistic behaviour previously attributed solely to humans.
That is the gist of the unprecedented fossil hominin record find.
The rest that you'll need to know is represented in the numbers:
2014 - The year the fossils were analysed in a unique workshop funded by the South African Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation, the University of the Witwatersrand, and the National Geographic Society
2013 - The year of the initial discovery and expedition
1550 - The number of separate bones and bone fragments recovered thus far from the floor of the cave chamber
500 - The approximate cubic centimetres representing the size of H. naledi's brain
150 - Just over this number of hand bones have been found in the Dinaledi Chamber so far
100 - There are just over this number of foot bones in the current H. naledi sample
90 - The number of metres the fossil elements were from the entrance of the chamber
60 - Just more than this number of cavers and scientists worked together on the expeditions
45 - The average and estimated weight of H. naledi in kilograms
21 - The number of days the initial expedition took
18 - The width of the cave opening in centrimetres
15 - The minimum number of individuals believed to be represented in the discovery of the fossil elements
8 - The number of individuals found so far identified as children of various ages
6 - The number of women chosen from a global pool of scientists to be "underground astronauts", those small enough to fit through the cave opening
5 - The number of individuals found so far identified as adults
2 - The number of "Rising Star" expeditions that discovered and recovered the fossils
2 - The cavers who made the initial discovery of the fossil elements at the Dinaledi Chamber, Rick Hunter and Steven Tucker
1.5 - The average height of the H.naledi in metres
0 - The number of other large animals apart from H. naledi to have ever found their way into the Dinaledi Chamber signalling the fossils were most likely intentionally placed there