Big Picture Science – Going All To Species

by Gary Niederhoff on November 1, 2015

Big Picture Science – Going All To Species

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?

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Marina Elliott / Cave Crawl
Part 2: Carol Ward / Our African Origins
Part 3: John Hawks / Homo Naledi
Part 4: Tim White / Specious Species

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