New “Missing Link” Discovered

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 4th, 2010

Homo habilis

I mentioned recently, when talking about the X-Woman / Denisova homin finds that, “Speculations and discoveries will continue to change the landscape of human evolution.”

The Denisova discovery certainly got a lot of play, some of it quite intriguing and unconsciously humorous. One German news blog used Dick Klyver’s Homo floresiensis image from the cover of one of my books, apparently, via this blog.  They also seemed to have mixed up material from my X-Woman blog, and called anthropologist John Hawks, “a noted cryptozoologist.”  LOL.

Humans (Homo sapiens), Neandertals (Homo neanderthalensis), hobbits (Homo floresiensis), and the Denisova homins shared terra firma, in the recent episode. Now, today, word has leaked out of a new member of the clan, supposedly leading in our direction, which may give us further insights into this crowded Earth.

Mrs. Ples’ bust, meticulously reconstructed, with the fossilized skull of an Australopithecus afarensis, excavated in 1947 at Sterkfontein, today known as the “Cradle of Humankind.” Photo: Dominique Gommery.

An almost complete skeleton of a youngster has been was found in the cave systems in the Sterkfontein region of South Africa, near Johannesburg, an area known for its remarkable past finds. The new fossil species is scheduled to be announced next Thursday, and shall be identified as a new species that is allegedly between Australopithecus and Homo habilis. Can you blame the media for, once again, using the old standby, “missing link“? (Of course, news of a new “living fossil” would have been even more remarkable!)

There is no mistake in your uploading of the above image; the missing species is suppose to be that way. At least, for now.

Media outlets appear to be jumping an embargo, and pre-releasing the word of the upcoming Malapa hominin announcement. For example, see the Thaiindian news service, which identifies this as a child’s skeleton, and the London Telegraph’sMissing link between man and apes found.”

More formal information will be forthcoming, but here are citations that appear to relate to the forthcoming papers on this discovery:

deRuiter D.J., Churchill S.E., Berger L.R., Carlson K.J., Kibii J., Dirks, P.H,G.M. A new species of early hominin from South Africa. Annual Meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society, St Louis, USA April 13-14, 2010.

Berger L.R., deRuiter D.J., Churchill S.E., Schmid, P., Carlson K.J., Kibii J., Dirks, P.H,G.M. Two new hominin partial skeletons from the Malapa site, South Africa. Annual Meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society, St Louis, USA April 13-14, 2010.


In another recent book I just finished (True Giants, Anomalist Books, 2010), I consider the notion that the floodgates are also going to open to a new era of exciting fossil hominoids (as opposed to only hominids) discoveries or discovery announcements. Will new Gigantopithecus finds be too far in the future from Asian scientists?

Australopithecus afarensis

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

7 Responses to “New “Missing Link” Discovered”

  1. maeko responds:

    why is the Telegraph breaking these stories before the science journals? they had the Denisova story first, as well. do the Brits have super-secret-hominid-sleuths or something?!

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    Not sure that the Telegraph had the first news of the X-Woman’s pinky findings. The news came about due to the Nature site release.

  3. Paul78 responds:

    The confusions by the news report was remarkable what i was concerned about when it came to confusing the original X-woman story.

    Also to clarify, do you mean this would be a new species between A, Afarnsis and H. Habilis? As between the two there is already A. Garhi; so i wonder how this fits in with the Homini?

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    We really won’t know what the press releases mean, as far as the speculations about a “missing link” between Australopithecus afarensis and Homo habilis, until the formal announcement is made, later in the week.

    I hear (through personal correspondence) that three skeletons may be involved in the new discovery.

  5. Aaronious01 responds:

    While I like the “missing link” missing in the artist’s rendition, I’ve always hated those depictions of evolution. They strongly imply a linear process, directed process, as if evolution is one of ‘lower’ organisms to ‘divine’ organisms.

    That, and after seeing 1,000s of Frank & Ernest cartoons using it, they’re ruined forever. hahaha

  6. sschaper responds:

    As Johansson has shown, it is amazing what you can do with an ape skeleton, a dremel, and an artist.

  7. Paul78 responds:

    I don’t why there is a hang up over a “missing link” by the media? When you see the Hominin tree there really is no need for a missing link.

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