Tulane professor helped discover new human relative - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Tulane professor helped discover new human relative

Source: Fox News Source: Fox News

A Tulane University professor is among a team of international researchers involved in the discovery of a new species of human relative. 

Trenton Holliday, an anthropology professor in the Tulane School of Liberal Arts joined a team of 40 scientists who found the new species called Homo naledi, in a South African cave.

The discovery is considered the single largest find of fossil hominin, an extinct relative of humans, ever made in Africa.  Researchers found more than 1,500 numbered fossil elements representing at least 15 individuals. 

Research shows that on average H. naledi stood about 5 feet tall, weighed almost 100 pounds and had a small brain.

Holliday led a team that analyzed the body size and proportions of the fossils. While it is too early to determine the age of the bones, Holliday said they could be more than 2 million years old.

The findings were discovered and recovered during two expeditions in November 2013 and March 2014 in a cave northwest of Johannesburg. The site was so narrow the lead researcher recruited scientists small enough to fit in the cave and retrieve the bones.

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