It’s getting testy, says a vertebrate paleontologist:
In January Roberto Macchiarelli, a professor of human paleontology, accused his colleague Michel Brunet of totally misrepresenting an important piece of evidence in the story of human evolution. The evidence in question is a femur – a thigh bone found in northern Chad in 2001. Macchiarelli believes that the femur belonged to Toumaï (Sahelanthropus tchadensis), a species which his opponent argues is the earliest known example of a human ancestor, dating back around 7 million years.
But Macchiarelli insists the femur belonged to a quadrupedal ape, not a bipedal hominin. Julian Benoit, “Five reasons why 2018 was a big year for palaeontology” at THe Conversation
If Toumaï is a human ancestor, then human beings originated in western, not eastern Africa, the thinking goes. Some of the artwork might have to change. 😉 The debate and the digging go on.
Follow UD News at Twitter!
See also: From The Conversation: Questioning human origins in Africa is a good thing. So what about the claims for Europe?
Researchers: Leakey’s iconic homo habilis did not use cultural transmission, too primitive
Does the herpes virus show that humans migrated out of Africa? Okay, but FYI, some researchers believe that the human race originated in Asia and got to Africa on naturally occurring rafts of vegetation.
What we do and don’t know about human evolution