More Missing Links Found 04.16.10  
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Two skeletons, 2 million years old, fill gaps in human evolutionary history, joining other recent missing links.

Paul Shepard

This month, scientists hailed the discovery of two skeletons, nearly 2 million years old, located in South Africa that might provide clues on the age-old question of how apes transitioned into modern humans -- the proverbial "missing link."

Scientists are saying the discovery could help rewrite the history of human evolution by filling in gaps in existing scientific knowledge.

The finding also fuels the ongoing debate on exactly how man, planet Earth and all creation came into being.

I read the interesting story on the finding, and then it dawned on me that I faintly recall reading a story like it sometime before, so I decided to do an Internet search on the term "missing link."

Though the term has fallen out of favor in some scientific circles for giving an inaccurate description of how people evolved, it still helps most of us understand the type of ape-man creature scientists are talking about.

At first, I came up with story from 2009 on the discovery of a fossil from a lemur-like animal named Ida that was discovered in Germany. At that time, the 47-million-year-old fossil was termed a possible missing link.

But before Ida came Lucy.

In 2006, Lucy, the remains of a 3.3-million-year-old ape-human skeleton, was discovered in Ethiopia. It was called "a once-in-a-lifetime find," by Fred Spoor, a professor of evolution and anatomy at University College London.

I'm no scientist, but how can every significant evolutionary discovery be called a "missing link"? And just how many links are missing?

I guess time will tell, but in the meantime, check out this video on the most recent "missing link."


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