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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 May 29;115(22):5738-5743. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1720842115. Epub 2018 May 14.

Endocast morphology of Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.

Author information

1
Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027; Rlh2@columbia.edu jhawks@wisc.edu.
2
Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405.
3
Department of Anatomy, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA 50312.
4
Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa.
5
Stone Age Institute, Bloomington, IN 47405.
6
Science and Engineering Library, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
7
Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa; Rlh2@columbia.edu jhawks@wisc.edu.
8
Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706.

Abstract

Hominin cranial remains from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa, represent multiple individuals of the species Homo naledi This species exhibits a small endocranial volume comparable to Australopithecus, combined with several aspects of external cranial anatomy similar to larger-brained species of Homo such as Homo habilis and Homo erectus Here, we describe the endocast anatomy of this recently discovered species. Despite the small size of the H. naledi endocasts, they share several aspects of structure in common with other species of Homo, not found in other hominins or great apes, notably in the organization of the inferior frontal and lateral orbital gyri. The presence of such structural innovations in a small-brained hominin may have relevance to behavioral evolution within the genus Homo.

KEYWORDS:

Homo; South Africa; brain evolution; human evolution; paleoanthropology

PMID:
29760068
PMCID:
PMC5984505
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1720842115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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