Lincoln-Memorial scientist studies bones in South Africa

HARROGATE, Tenn. (AP) – An assistant anatomy professor at Lincoln-Memorial University is one of 25 junior scientists to study fossil material from what researchers say is a new species of human relative in South Africa.

Dr. Zach Throckmorton told the Citizen Tribune in Morristown ( his interest is in the human foot and ankle. He says by examining the feet of the creature now named Homo naledi (nah LEH’ dee), his team determined the newly discovered species was able to stand comfortably on tiptoes.

Throckmorton says the foot was rigid and immobile, similar to human feet, and the ankle joints had a similar range of motion – stable and less flexible, which is needed to walk upright.

Throckmorton was chosen last year from 300 applicants to study the bones found in a cave in South Africa.