By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Homo naledi: A Likely Hybrid

Homo naledi: A Likely Hybrid

From Year 0 (BCE/CE): -335000
Post Date: 04/25/2024

Speculative branch of humans. Maybe a long lost hybrid: In the evolving tapestry of human history, the emergence of Homo naledi represents a captivating mystery that challenges traditional narratives of linear progression. Positioned within the intricate web of human evolution, Homo naledi could exemplify a complex branch woven from ancient threads. Imagine a scenario where a group descended from late Australopithecus interbred with Homo erectus, resulting in a unique hybrid species. This hybrid lineage, embodying a blend of primitive and advanced traits, might have thrived alongside other hominins, contributing to a rich mosaic of human diversity. The existence of Homo naledi, with its distinct blend of characteristics, suggests that our evolutionary past may not be a simple tree with neatly diverging branches, but rather a dense network of interconnected lineages, intermingling and evolving in response to the dynamic landscapes of ancient Africa. Such a perspective invites us to reconsider the complexity of human ancestry, highlighting the possibility of multiple, overlapping narratives of evolution driven by hybridization and adaptation.

Imagined image: Homa naledi. Left is circa 250,000 BCE. Right is circa 335,000 BCE. The later Homo naledi individual as appearing more human-like is somewhat speculative but can be supported by the evidence of their anatomical features and behaviors.

Survival: From about 335,000 BCE to 236,000 BCE in Eastern and Southern Africa (in woodlands and grasslands)
Size: 3’4″ to 4’5″ (a bit taller than modern chimpanzees)
Brain Size: around 510 to 600 cm³
Brain to Body EQ: 3.3 to 3.8 (humans=7.4 to 7.8)

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