Going All to Species
ENCORE Meet your new relatives. The fossilized bones of Homo naledi are unique for their sheer number, but they may also be fill a special slot in our ancestry: the first of our genus Homo. Sporting modern hands and feet but only a tiny brain, this creature may link us and our ape-like ancestors.
Some anthropologists hail the discovery as that of a new hominid species. Not all their colleagues agree. Find out what’s at stake in the debate.
Also, the scientist who helped retrieve the fossils describes her perilous crawl through a cave with only ten inches of elbow room. And a radical theory about what these old bones might mean: could they be from a burial two million years ago?
- Marina Elliott – Paleoanthropologist, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
- Carl Ward – Biological anthropologist, University of Missouri
- John Hawks - Anthropologist, University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Tim White - Anthropologist, University of California, Berkeley
originally aired November 2, 2015