Homo naledi
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Homo naledi | Scientists discover new human species relative

The skeleton of Homo naledi is seen in the Wits bone vault at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. The fossils are among nearly 1,700 bones and teeth retrieved from a nearly inaccessible cave near Johannesburg. The fossil trove was created, scientists believe, by Homo naledi repeatedly secreting the bodies of their dead companions in the cave.

 (John Hawks / AFP / Getty Images)

A composite skeleton of Homo naledi is surrounded by some of the hundreds of other fossil elements displayed in Magaliesburg, South Africa.

 (Themba Hadebe / Associated Press)

This March 2015 photo provided by National Geographic from its October 2015 issue and made available on Sept. 10, 2015, shows a reconstruction of a Homo naledi face by paleoartist John Gurche at his studio in Trumansburg, N.Y.

 (Mark Thiessen / AFP / Getty Images)

South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa kisses a reconstruction of Homo naledi’s face during the announcement made at Maropeng Cradle of Humankind in Magaliesburg, South Africa.

 (Themba Hadebe / Associated Press)

Professor Lee Burger kneels at the cave entrance where the fossil remains of Homo naledi were found.

 (Brett Eloff / Wits University )

An image of the lower jaw of a new human relative Homo naledi is seen in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 (Wits University)

The hand of new human relative Homo naledi is seen in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 (Wits University )

Professor Lee Burger works on the Rising Star hominid fossil excavation expedition.

 (Brett Eloff / Wits University)

Cave exploration leader Pedro Boshoff examines the Rising Star Cave in Maropeng, close to Johannesburg, South Africa.

 (Brett Eloff / AFP / Getty Images)