There was a lot of excitement when scientists reported the discovery of an entirely new hominin species, Homo naledi, in 2015. Since then, we are gradually learning more about them. For example, earlier this year, researchers found that they lived sometime between 335,000 and 236,000 years ago. Now my colleagues and I have reported among the first evidence on the diet and behaviour of this fascinating new addition to the human family tree. Our research, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, suggests they probably ate a substantially different diet from other South African hominins. The young age of Homo naledi suggests they may have shared their environment with humans, raising an intriguing discussion about the ecological niche they would have filled. The preservation of their skeletons is also interesting – the research team that first described it concluded they may have deliberately placed their dead in the cave. Mapping fractures In our research, we examin...

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