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Welcome ‘Homo Naledi’ in human race!

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

20150912_stp004Johannesburg: So the human race has a new creature in the family now!  On Thursday, an international team of more than 60 scientists led by Lee R Berger  in Johannesburg announced the new species found in the caves of South Africa. The name Homo Naledi refers to the cave where the bones lay undisturbed for so long; “naledi” means “star” in the local Sesotho language.

The species measured about 5-feet tall and had the brain size of chimpanzees. There is evidence of a powerful thumb and a complex wrist that are distinctly human-like—clear signs of regular tool use. But the fingers are strongly curved, suggesting hands that were also regularly used for climbing. The bones, they argue, look strikingly similar to those of early Homo Erectus, a forerunner of modern humans who wandered southern Africa 1.5m years ago.

Dr Berger said, “With almost every bone in the body represented multiple times, Homo Naledi is already the best-known fossil member of our lineage.”

Christoph Zollikofer, an anthropologist at the University of Zurich, said many of the bone characteristics indicated that the creature as a new species is seen in more primitive animals, and by definition it cannot be used to define a new species.

“If this is an ancient species, like a coelacanth, that has come down through time and is only tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of years old, it means that during that time we had a complex species wandering around Africa, perhaps making tools. That would make archaeology very difficult, because we are not going to know who made what,” Berger said.

Dr Berger is an American paleoanthropologist who is a professor of human evolution studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.

  • aquape

    This is a great discovery & excavation, but prof Berger’s interpretations (human ancestor, deliberate burial, tool maker, distance runner) are anthropocentric.
    Homo or Australopithecus naledi is not unexpected (in fact predicted, google: aquarboreal). Comparative anatomy suggests that naledi were bonobo-like forest-swamp or wetland waders who fed on aquatic herbaceous vegetation (AHV, e.g. sedges, frogbit, waterlilies) like lowland gorillas & bonobos do (google: bonobo wading) but more frequently.
    They fossilised in mud-stone (stagnant water). The curved hand-bones were for vertical climbing in the branches above the swamp like bonobos do. With their long thumbs, they swam & collected floating herbs (AHV). The flat, more humanlike feet are more flamingo- (wading) than ostrich-like (running).
    It was a natural fossilisation: when they died, their bodies got almost immediately covered with (oxygen-poor) mud, and afterwards the mudstone with the abundant (google: gorilla bai) fossils slid side- & downwards (on average a few centimetres every thousand years).
    The more humanlike primitive feet are no argument for making them Homo: prenatal chimps also have longer & adducted big toes (S.Coon) and female highland gorillas keep these into adulthood (A.Schultz).

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  • aquape

    This is a great discovery & excavation, but prof Berger’s interpretations (human ancestor, deliberate burial, tool maker, distance runner) are anthropocentric.
    Homo or Australopithecus naledi is not unexpected (in fact predicted, google: aquarboreal). Comparative anatomy suggests that naledi were bonobo-like forest-swamp or wetland waders who fed on aquatic herbaceous vegetation (AHV, e.g. sedges, frogbit, waterlilies) like lowland gorillas & bonobos do (google: bonobo wading) but more frequently.
    They fossilised in mud-stone (stagnant water). The curved hand-bones were for vertical climbing in the branches above the swamp like bonobos do. With their long thumbs, they swam & collected floating herbs (AHV). The flat, more humanlike feet are more flamingo- (wading) than ostrich-like (running).
    It was a natural fossilisation: when they died, their bodies got almost immediately covered with (oxygen-poor) mud, and afterwards the mudstone with the abundant (google: gorilla bai) fossils slid side- & downwards (on average a few centimetres every thousand years).
    The more humanlike primitive feet are no argument for making them Homo: prenatal chimps also have longer & adducted big toes (S.Coon) and female highland gorillas keep these into adulthood (A.Schultz).

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Kenyans among Foreigners Targeted in South Africa Attacks

South African police have arrested 189 people following several days of fresh xenophobic violence in Pretoria and Johannesburg in Gauteng

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Kenyans, Foreigners, South Africa
Looters at Marabastad, South Africa on September 2, 2019, during widespread attacks on foreign nationals and looting of their shops.

BY GEOFFREY ISAYA

Kenyans are among victims of arson, looting and physical attacks in the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Kenyans

Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa Jean Kamau on Wednesday confirmed that several Kenyans had been attacked in Gauteng Province.

South African police have arrested 189 people following several days of fresh xenophobic violence in Pretoria and Johannesburg in Gauteng as well as in other cities.

At least five people have been killed during the sporadic violence against foreign-owned businesses.

Kenyans, Foreigners, South Africa
Kenyans are among victims of arson, looting and physical attacks in the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Pixabay

INCIDENTS

Ms Kamau has asked Kenyans living and running enterprises in the troubled regions to cooperate with the police and report all incidents.

“The Kenya High Commission has since reached out to the affected individuals and encouraged them to respond to the instructions and calls by the South African police to report and open files regarding all [incidents],” a statement from the ambassador based in Pretoria reads.

“Kenyan community members in South Africa are asked to ensure that they work with their local diaspora leaders to monitor the situation and take measures to safeguard their security. All must remain vigilant and aware of their environment,” Ms Kamau added.

Also Read- New York’s Worst Measles Epidemic in Nearly 30 Years Officially over After Months of Emergency Measures

‘STOP IMMEDIATELY’

Sporadic violence against foreign-owned stores and enterprises has a long history in South Africa, where many locals blame immigrants for high unemployment.

The authorities have been struggling to contain a nationwide surge of anti-foreigner sentiment that flared up in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Mobs descended on business hubs and townships in various parts of the country, looting dozens of shops and torching trucks driven by foreigners.

Kenyans, Foreigners, South Africa
Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa Jean Kamau on Wednesday confirmed that several Kenyans had been attacked in Gauteng Province. Pixabay

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in a video address broadcast on Twitter, said the attacks are “something totally unacceptable, something that we cannot allow to happen in South Africa.”

“I want it to stop immediately,” he said, adding that the violence had “no justification.”

REACTIONS

Nigeria has summoned its South African ambassador to express “displeasure over the treatment of her citizens” and said it would dispatch a special envoy.

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Zambia has cancelled an international friendly football match which was slated for Lusaka next weekend against South Africa.

African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki condemned the violence “in the strongest terms” but said he was encouraged “by arrests already made by the South African authorities”.