PETER SCHMID/JOHN HAWKSThe fossilized remains of Homo naledi—discovered in 2013 and described in 2015—are much more contemporary than previously estimated, according to codiscoverer Lee Berger of the National Geographic Society. In an interview with the organization’s magazine Berger said the bones are between 200,000 to 300,000 years old (via BBC News).
Last year, scientists at Simon Fraser University in Canada and their colleagues estimated that the H. naledi remains they had excavated were around 900,000 years old. At that time, paleoanthropologist Matthew Tocheri of Lakehead University in Canada told Science News that the ancient human’s timeline could again be changed by “a good geological date.”
According to the BBC, scientists have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to extract DNA from the ancient specimens. “[The remains] are obviously at an age where we have every reason to think there might be some chance,” codiscoverer John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin—Madison told BBC News. “The cave is relatively warm compared to the cold caves in northern Europe and Asia where we have really good DNA preservation.”