Homo naledi walked, climbed, and used tools

Early last month, researchers revealed that the remains of a new human-like species referred to as "Homo naledi" had been discovered in a cave in South Africa. A surprising number of bones were discovered, and researchers have been busy studying them since, uncovering secrets about both naledi and the eventual arrival of modern humans. In a new report, the scientists revealed that Homo naledi was both good at climbing trees and walked upright.

The revelation came by studying naledi's feet and hands, the combination of which show the species was adept on the land and in the trees. The bones of the feet show that naledi walked, but the finger bones are curved, hinting that naledi was well suited for grabbing tree branches and, subsequently, climbing.

That's not all, though — the hands, despite being suited for climbing, were also pretty modern, at least in relation to modern human hands, and they were likely capable of at least some of the hand movements as Neanderthals and modern humans. This indicates naledi may have been able to make and use tools, ones of a somewhat complex nature.

This does pose a bit of a mystery, though, as it is believed naledi could have lived millions of years ago, and that it had a brain about the size of a modern chimp's brain. If it did use tools, that brings up questions about it cognitive abilities. Likewise, the foot bones are said to shown that naledi's feet were very akin to modern human feet, but with some differences: a lower arch and curved toes, namely.

Research is ongoing.