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The Problem of Man's Ancestry

Nature volume 101, pages 322323 (27 June 1918) | Download Citation



IN this booklet Prof. Wood-Jones has expanded the substance of a lecture which received considerable attention from the Press when delivered at King's College, Strand, during the past spring. A new hypothesis as to man's origin is put forward and a new place is given to man in the zoological scale-a place far apart from that occupied by the anthropoid apes, with which Prof. Wood-Jones considers man has only a most remote relationship. To explain the number of “primi-tive “anatomical characters which are to be found in the human body and the number of “human “features which are to be found in that aberrant and diminutive primate Tarsius, the author supposes that both man and Tarsius have sprung from a common stem-one the root of which is represented in the Lower Eocene strata by Anaptomorphus and Necrolemur. “If man is a more primitive mammal than are monkeys and apes, and if he undoubtedly belongs to their phylum, then it follows that, far from being a descendant of the apes, he may be looked on as their ancestor/'

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