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The hand of Homo naledi

Kivell, Tracy L., Deane, Andrew S., Tocheri, Matthew W., Orr, Caley M., Schmid, Peter, Hawks, John, Berger, Lee R., Churchill, Steven E. (2015) The hand of Homo naledi. Nature Communications, 6 (8431). pp. 1-9. ISSN 2041-1723. (doi:10.1038/ncomms9431) (KAR id:50856)


A nearly complete right hand of an adult hominin was recovered from the Rising Star cave system, South Africa. Based on associated hominin material, the bones of this hand are attributed to Homo naledi. This hand reveals a long, robust thumb and derived wrist morphology that is shared with Neandertals and modern humans, and considered adaptive for intensified manual manipulation. However, the finger bones are longer and more curved than in most australopiths, indicating frequent use of the hand during life for strong grasping during locomotor climbing and suspension. These markedly curved digits in combination with an otherwise human-like wrist and palm indicate a significant degree of climbing, despite the derived nature of many aspects of the hand and other regions of the postcranial skeleton in H. naledi.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/ncomms9431
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: [UNSPECIFIED] European Research Council
Depositing User: Tracy Kivell
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 19:41 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:28 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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