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00:00:01
>> Scientists announced on Tuesday that they've established for the first time, that ancient hominids co-existed with early humans in Africa. I'm Ed Stoddard for Reuters News, in the cradle of humankind, South Africa. About a year and a half ago, scientists from the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, announced here that they had discovered a new species of human relative.
00:00:28
They named it homo naledi and it's believed to be about 2.5 million years old. One of the curious features about this species was that it appeared to bury its own dead, a trait that had been associated uniquely with humans before that. What the scientists announced today is actually quite startling, is that they've discovered that homo naledi actually existed between 250,000 and 350,000 years ago.
00:00:54
That would mean that homo naledi was sharing space with early homo sapiens, ie early humans in Africa. There's a couple of questions that emerged from all of this. One is that there's a possibility that we may have actually interbred with homo naledi. We know from DNA evidence that we, in fact, interbred with neanderthals at one time.
00:01:18
And so now the hunt is on now for homo naledi DNA, which could help establish that. Another point is we don't know when homo naledi went extinct. They may have gone extinct only 100,000 years ago. What would have done that? Could homo sapiens have also driven homo naledi to extinction?
00:01:35
These are the questions that scientists are still asking and that hopefully future fossil finds will reveal.