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would be better placed in Australopithecus - an example of how rapidly our understanding of our evolutionary past is changing, and of the reviews, discussion and disagreements that characterise scientific research.

And even once the antiquity of the remains was established, many scientists refused to accept that Neandertals could be closely related to modern humans, depicting them instead as brutish and apelike.This rejection reflected the prevailing view that our large brain had evolved while the skeleton was still ape-like, and Dubois' suggestion that the reverse was true was sidelined.The "large brain first" view received further support when the Piltdown fossils were presented to the world.Interestingly, the data also raise the possibility that the two new species may have hybridised for some time after their initial separation (Patterson et al. Its discoverers place it in the hominid family tree, and describe it as bipedal.This suggests that bipedalism in hominids evolved very early indeed.

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