Scientists at a remote site in Central Australia have discovered a missing link between humans and kangaroos, it was reported yesterday.
According to Professor Charles Dawson, head of the investigation at the site, a human-like finger bone and a kangaroo-like leg bone were found in close proximity at the site, suggesting that they belong to the same skeleton. Both items were carbon dated to 40,132 years ago.
Professor Dawson said that this shows that an early non-human species of hominids was living in Australia when the Aborigines arrived about 40,000 years ago.
He went on to say “It seems that the species of hominids evolved independently in Australia, since no trace of them has ever been found elsewhere. They do not belong in the ancestral tree of modern humans.” he added, “They are independent of modern humans, but are possibly a side branch.”
It has been suggested that the hominids were cannibals since the leg bone showed signs of being gnawed by human-like teeth.
Professor Dawson said that he expected a great deal of controversy before other Palaeontologists accepted the findings. He is convinced, however, that the existence of the hominids will eventually be accepted and will have a dramatic effect on the story of human evolution.
Professor Dawson is a direct descendent of Mr Charles Dawson famous for discovering Piltdown Man in the early 20th Century.
A name for the new species has not yet been decided, but Australis spoofii has been suggested by a prominent Palaeontologist who declined to be named.
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