Video Of The Famous 'Ape-Man' Of Morocco

Razumov

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#1



This is the famous "Azzo Bassou" one of the best known "Ape Man" cases in the early twentieth century.

He was something of a tabloid sensation:







http://telexpresse.com/permalink/93297.html

http://www.sideshowworld.com/81-SSPAlbumcover/SS-13-PH/2013/Ape-Man/Dadis.html

http://www.ouarzazate-1928-1956.fr/le-territoire/la-rocade-du-nord-est/307-skoura-et-sa-region.html

http://memoire-ouarzazate-photo-doc...-et-recopie-pour-vous-bayoussef-mohammed.html



The entirely predictable response from skeptics is that he has a disease, so I have a question for you:

When the major morphological difference between a human and our immediate ancestors is the size of the brain, how do we tell the difference between a human with brain disease and a Homo Erectus?


3954-6cf37563a5cc63161a3c95407cc2aafc.jpg
 

AnonyJoolz

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#2
Microcephaly, it's caused by genetic abnormality or a pregnant woman exposed to poisons or some contagious illnesses.

There is a superficial similarity from front-facing photos but that is all.

This gentleman has microcephaly, which can instantly be spotted when you see the skull ends just behind the ear, rather than extending for several inches. Typical Homo erectus skulls also project for several inches beyond the ears, just like modern humans.

The difference lies in the capacity of the part of the skull than contains the brain - Homo erectus didn't have a hugely smaller brain capacity than ourselves, whereas microcephalic people certainly do, and deserve our care and empathy.

Encylopaedia Britannica:

 
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Razumov

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#3
This gentleman has microcephaly, which can instantly be spotted when you see the skull ends just behind the ear, rather than extending for several inches.
So do some human ancestor skulls:

16fadebcaaecccef2c1209c2879466a0.jpg

6176b844740337.56078667b0d13.jpg


The difference lies in the capacity of the part of the skull than contains the brain - Homo erectus didn't have a hugely smaller brain capacity than ourselves, whereas microcephalic people certainly do, and deserve our care and empathy.
Your "science" is wrong:

https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/homo-erectus-a-bigger-smarter-97879043

While the smallest-bodied early H. erectus fossils have brain sizes only slightly larger than earlier hominins (australopiths), early large-bodied specimens, such as the Nariokotome individual, have a brain volume greater than 800 cm3, more than 50% larger than earlier australopiths (and about 60% of the typical brain size of someone living today). However, in addition to the absolute increase in brain volume that accompanies an increase in body size, there is also a proportional increase. This is referred to as encephalization, and is an important characteristic of H. erectus. Throughout the evolutionary history of H. erectus there is substantial evidence for selection leading towards increased encephalization, so that while early members of the lineage have a cranial capacity of 600-800 cm3, the cranial capacities of most later specimens are well in excess of 1000 cm3, which is within the lower range of contemporary humans, without appearing considerably larger in body size than early H. erectus.
 

AnonyJoolz

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#4
So do some human ancestor skulls:



Your "science" is wrong:

https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/homo-erectus-a-bigger-smarter-97879043

While the smallest-bodied early H. erectus fossils have brain sizes only slightly larger than earlier hominins (australopiths), early large-bodied specimens, such as the Nariokotome individual, have a brain volume greater than 800 cm3, more than 50% larger than earlier australopiths (and about 60% of the typical brain size of someone living today). However, in addition to the absolute increase in brain volume that accompanies an increase in body size, there is also a proportional increase. This is referred to as encephalization, and is an important characteristic of H. erectus. Throughout the evolutionary history of H. erectus there is substantial evidence for selection leading towards increased encephalization, so that while early members of the lineage have a cranial capacity of 600-800 cm3, the cranial capacities of most later specimens are well in excess of 1000 cm3, which is within the lower range of contemporary humans, without appearing considerably larger in body size than early H. erectus.
My bold selection - no it's not, your quote itself includes a brain capacity range of 600/800cm3 up to 1000cm3 . People with microcephaly typically have smaller brains. than this range. They are disabled, not a missing link.

I have personal suspicions about the tone of your post and previous posts, and so I think this will be the last input from me on this.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#5
Forteana related to our own species is up there with the most fascinating topics there are and I always read such threads here with enormous interest.
The problem is that you feel like you're treading on eggshells if you express an interest in and comment on such things.
I personally feel it would be utterly amazing if scientific orthodoxy were forced to acknowledge that Neanderthal/Denisovan/Ergaster people persisted until recent times and ought now to be included within the current definition of what constitutes Homo sapiens.

In the case of poor Bassou, aka the so-called Moroccan ape-man, it does look very much like he suffered from microcephaly. He closely resembles characters from the notorious exploitation movie "Freaks".

The image above though, to the left of the Homo Ergaster skull drawing, looks not dissimilar to the famous Pintupi skull. This was from an individual, aged around 50 at his death, who lived no more than 200 years ago in Australia, and yet he looks like what we currently describe as an "archaic hominid".

You Google any articles about this and you will read about Australian anthropologists who were warned they would be committing professional suicide if they presented evidence about the persistence of archaic human traits.
Political correctness would appear to trump scientific evidence when it comes to human evolution.

Personally, I would happily accept that Neanderthals/Denisovans/Erectus etc.are very likely still amongst us and that this is a wonderful thing!
 
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oldrover

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#6
The image above though, to the left of the Homo Ergaster skull drawing, looks not dissimilar to the famous Pintupi skull. This was from an individual, aged around 50 at his death, who lived no more than 200 years ago in Australia, and yet he looks like what we currently describe as an "archaic hominid".

You Google any articles about this and you will read about Australian anthropologists who were warned they would be committing professional suicide if they presented evidence about the persistence of archaic human traits.
Political correctness would appear to trump scientific evidence when it comes to human evolution.
Perhaps the authors of these warnings were aware of the danger of inferring relationships from physical characteristics due to issues such as convergence? Or that they had a meaningful morphometric range for the earliest Aboriginal remains which showed that these apparently archaic characteristics were more recently acquired and not found in the earlier examples.
 

Xanatic*

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#7
It hardly seems fair to call Freaks an exploitation movie.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#9
Article does a good job on wrapping up the basics of different humanoids. Agree it appears some poor souls with disabilities have been confused with anthropology - paleoanthropology.

https://www.si.edu/newsdesk/factsheets/did-you-know-human-origins-facts
Main thing to disagree with in that article is their confusion between species and sub-species.
The evidence of interbreeding between Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens is surely evidence that they were part of the same species?

I would also take issue with their claim that "all modern humans have strikingly similar skulls" . There are significant differences in the shape of extant human skulls. Take the Pintupi (Australian aborigine) skull compared with that of a Northern European. The differences are not dissimilar to comparing Neanderthals with Cro-Magnons. Despite some striking differences though, Sapiens, Denisovans (who contributed to aborigine DNA), Neanderthals and even Ergaster were all part of the same species - Homo.

IMG_0519.JPG
 
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Mikefule

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#10
Hmmm. If he had been the son of rich white westerners, he might have been referred to in terms of "oh, the poor thing, it's very sad, think of his poor mother." If he'd been born of poor white stock, he may have ended up either in a freak show, or just surviving on the streets, suffering a degree of bullying and exploitation but benefiting from the kindness of his community.

However, he was black, and was identified as an "ape man" which seems to me to be part of the same mentality that used to lead to bananas being thrown onto the football pitch when a black player was in the team in the 1970s. Black people are no nearer to apes than white people, but some white people have chosen to believe otherwise, and Darwin inadvertently gave them a feeling that they have licence to do so.

Species is a flexible concept, and in the case of "early humans' it is applied retrospectively and selectively, and solely by us: modern humans, with all our arrogant and false assumptions that we are the pinnacle of evolution.

One "formal" definition of a species is that individuals of the same species can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. As modern man contains identifiable Neanderthal dna, Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens obviously interbred and produced fertile offspring. Therefore, they are really different breeds rather than different species.

A common mistake is to forget that there was no precise moment when Neanderthals, or Cro Magnons, or any other "early human", evolved into the next thing down the line. There was no "missing link" (a Victorian concept which has outlived its usefulness) but a gradual evolution with countless intervening stages.

Furthermore, evolution is not a single development of a species towards perfection. At any given time, there is a range of characteristics, even within a single population. We call a Bantu, Pygmy, Inuit, Cherokee, Australian Aboriginal, and a white Belgian all the same species, and they are. Then we then draw artificial lines between ourselves and earlier humans who were considerable more similar to an average European than a Pygmy is to a professional basketball player.

There is also a false preconception that "WE are highly evolved" and "THEY were primitive". Put a group of professors of anthropology into the Congolese jungle, naked and without tools, and see who is more highly evolved: H sapiens or the chimpanzees. Each species is adapted to its environment, and when it fails to be so, it becomes extinct within that environment.

The individual in the photos is a "funny looking specimen" to our eyes, but look more closely. He is incredibly skinny, which must be at least in part due to diet and lifestyle, although there may be a genetic component. His joints are prominent for the same reasons. His ears are larger than average, and set well back, which exaggerates the microcephalic appearance. His lower face appears to protrude in an "ape like" fashion, but this is less obvious in the very nice tall sepia photo of him standing and smiling.

On the head shots, seen from the side, his head appears to sit forward on his neck, making him appear more "freakish". A number of factors can make someone's head appear sit forward on their neck, including being angry or threatening or sullen, being short sighted, and being asked to pose like that by a photographer.

Feed this guy up, treat him kindly, give him a set of conventional clothes and a suitable wig or hat, and he would suddenly look a lot more normal to our eyes.

I think all we have here is a person who was towards the extreme lower end of the bell curve on various characteristics, possibly had what we would now call learning difficulties, and who struggled either to fit in or find acceptance in his community. Restricted life opportunities affected his diet (and therefore his shape) and his education (and therefore his understanding and ability to communicate) and, like many socially marginalised people, he developed habits that accentuated his difference and which fitted what became expected of him.

The fact that scientists of the time wanted to use him as evidence to confirm their own preconceptions that there was such a thing as an "apeman" or "missing link" or "throwback" says more about them than about Azzo Bassou himself.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#11
Quite. But it's more about sensationalism than skin colour.
Nicolai Valuev is not black but, thanks to his large stature and massive brow-ridges, was routinely referred to as a "freak', the "beast from the East" or simply "The beast".

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www....xing-how-a-freak-fought-back-1814737.html?amp

I guess lurid rhetoric sells newspapers. Had Valuev's (or indeed the Pintupi) skull been found in say 300,000 year old strata, they would very likely be classed as Neanderthal or Denisovan. They are though fully human. That's why I took issue with the Smithsonian " them and us" attitude and their claim that modern human skulls all look very similar.
 

Mikefule

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#12
Quite. But it's more about sensationalism than skin colour.
Nicolai Valuev is not black but, thanks to his large stature and massive brow-ridges, was routinely referred to as a "freak', the "beast from the East" or simply "The beast".
I must confess that before today, I cannot recall hearing or reading of Valuev being called a "freak". However, I have regularly heard him called the Beast from the East.

I think this is slightly different, at least in emphasis. "Beast" has favourable connotations of strength, and is even used as a sign of respect for someone who is tough. Someone who can ride 100 miles in 4 hours on a fixed gear bike is "a bit of a beast".

The word also has some very negative connotations in different circumstances, but the two usages do not really overlap.

Example: in his early career, Mike Tyson was "a beast" in the favourable sense: tough, hard, unstoppable. After the famous Holyfield's ear debacle, and the conviction for rape, he was seen by many as more "bestial" as in a savage and dangerous animal.

"Brute" is a similar word. A boxer can down someone with a "brutal" uppercut without any suggestion that he is subhuman, but a man who beats his wife is a "brute" with the word rightly having a very negative meaning.

One of my sons who is a personal trainer refers to a "beasting" as a thorough and exhausting work out, typically of long duration and high intensity. He would not be upset to be called "a bit of a beast" (in the right context) but if he were called, "You big ape" with all the connotations of stupidity, he would be angry and hurt.

So Valuev, who is big, strong and fierce (three good things in the context of being a boxer) was called "the Beast" — and the fact that he is from the East added to the likelihood of the nickname sticking.

I cannot think of any context in which likening a human to an ape is generally accepted as a compliment or as affectionate. The nearest is perhaps a mother affectionately calling her child, "You little monkey," which carries a suggestion of light hearted mischief and cleverness.

It is all a matter of how the individual sees it. I see the pictures of a non-white person being called an "apeman" with all the assumptions that go with that. I'm not blaming anyone today or who has posted in this thread, but commenting on the attitudes and mores of the time when he was being "studied" — rather than, for example, being left alone, or helped.

That picture of him standing up and smiling says it all to me: he looks like a decent bloke, whatever his physical and mental abnormalities: a human being with difficulties, but not an ape. Those other head only shots appear designed to portray him as more apelike than he was.
 

Xanatic*

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#13
The microcephalics in Pakistan are known as rat children to the locals.
 
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#14
I must confess that before today, I cannot recall hearing or reading of Valuev being called a "freak". However, I have regularly heard him called the Beast from the East.

I think this is slightly different, at least in emphasis. "Beast" has favourable connotations of strength, and is even used as a sign of respect for someone who is tough. Someone who can ride 100 miles in 4 hours on a fixed gear bike is "a bit of a beast".

The word also has some very negative connotations in different circumstances, but the two usages do not really overlap.

Example: in his early career, Mike Tyson was "a beast" in the favourable sense: tough, hard, unstoppable. After the famous Holyfield's ear debacle, and the conviction for rape, he was seen by many as more "bestial" as in a savage and dangerous animal.

"Brute" is a similar word. A boxer can down someone with a "brutal" uppercut without any suggestion that he is subhuman, but a man who beats his wife is a "brute" with the word rightly having a very negative meaning.

One of my sons who is a personal trainer refers to a "beasting" as a thorough and exhausting work out, typically of long duration and high intensity. He would not be upset to be called "a bit of a beast" (in the right context) but if he were called, "You big ape" with all the connotations of stupidity, he would be angry and hurt.

So Valuev, who is big, strong and fierce (three good things in the context of being a boxer) was called "the Beast" — and the fact that he is from the East added to the likelihood of the nickname sticking.

I cannot think of any context in which likening a human to an ape is generally accepted as a compliment or as affectionate. The nearest is perhaps a mother affectionately calling her child, "You little monkey," which carries a suggestion of light hearted mischief and cleverness.

It is all a matter of how the individual sees it. I see the pictures of a non-white person being called an "apeman" with all the assumptions that go with that. I'm not blaming anyone today or who has posted in this thread, but commenting on the attitudes and mores of the time when he was being "studied" — rather than, for example, being left alone, or helped.

That picture of him standing up and smiling says it all to me: he looks like a decent bloke, whatever his physical and mental abnormalities: a human being with difficulties, but not an ape. Those other head only shots appear designed to portray him as more apelike than he was.
Two great posts there :hoff:
 

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#15
Not privy to the “finding” of the Australian anthropologists. People come in a wide variety i.e.: sizes, bone structure, muscle tone, skin, etc. The racist pseudo-science of ability, intelligence and moral fiber and other such characteristics based on scull shape – bone structure has long been proven to be the stuff of fiction. Personally I believe in Darwin’s survival of the fittest, in which the modern man is a direct descendent of the Cro-Magnum man. A bit of mating may have gone on in bygone times with other humanoids “as per some DNA finding”. Some would mate with a rock pile if there were a snake in it. But they disappeared and we didn’t. Of course like all such sciences as time marches the situation could change.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#18
He he, I was a scientist - engineer not an English teacher. God I wish I could spell.
I gathered that, but couldn't resist!

There are so many issues raised in this thread now, that I feel the need to reiterate my views:

1) Bassou was not a human-ape hybrid, but an unfortunate person suffering from microcephaly. The ludicrous claims, made initially by French journals in the middle of the last century, were made for sensationalist purposes to hawk their wares.

2) The 1932 movie "Freaks" billed several of the cast in similar sensationalist manner (the bird-woman, human catipillar, pin-heads, living skeleton etc.). I regard that as exploitative. Whilst Nicolai Valuev wasn't exploited to the same degree, his billing as a freak or a beast (see Independent article referenced above), is a modern version of something not dissimilar.

3) I disagree with the Smithsonian view that only Homo sapiens sapiens constitutes "our species". Neanderthals and Denisovans were clearly part of our species too, as the persistence of their DNA today proves.

4) I also disagree with the Smithsonian that human skulls all look very similar, hence I posted images of two very different-looking skulls.

5) The bottom line is that I believe, despite the marked differences in the skulls of Aborigines and Europeans, Neanderthals and Cro-magnons, Pygmies, Hobbits (Homo floresiensis) and every other flavour of humankind, past and present, we are all one.
 

Xanatic*

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#19
Skulls from different parts of the world do look quite similar, except for the pintupi skull. That is what makes it a bit of a sore thumb.

The movie Freaks was about a sideshow, those are the titles people in such shows performed under. It's similar to a heist movie where the cast gets described as the Safe Cracker or the Pick Pocket.
 

EnolaGaia

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#20
Back to the specific case of Azzo Bassou ...

There's nothing in any of the photos to indicate Bassou was anything other than a modern Homo sapiens sapiens with at least moderate microcephaly.

For one thing, there's no indication of the notably larger occipital bulge / extension characteristic of skulls from erectus, ergaster, or neanderthalensis.

Another thing to consider is that Bassou was from Morocco - one of the nations noted for increased incidence of microcephaly owing to consanguinous family lineages, as specifically cited in this medical paper on the subject:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6052603/
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#21
"Bassou was from Morocco - one of the nations noted for increased incidence of microcephaly owing to consanguinous family lineages"

Fair point, which tallies with an increase in genetic abnormalities in the UK amongst communities where consanguineous marriage is commonplace.
I'm reminded also that the recent dramatic increase in microcephaly cases in South America though has been blamed on the Zika virus, originally identified in Africa around the middle of the last century.
 

Mikefule

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#23
Not privy to the “finding” of the Australian anthropologists. People come in a wide variety i.e.: sizes, bone structure, muscle tone, skin, etc. The racist pseudo-science of ability, intelligence and moral fiber and other such characteristics based on scull shape – bone structure has long been proven to be the stuff of fiction. Personally I believe in Darwin’s survival of the fittest, in which the modern man is a direct descendent of the Cro-Magnum man. A bit of mating may have gone on in bygone times with other humanoids “as per some DNA finding”. Some would mate with a rock pile if there were a snake in it. But they disappeared and we didn’t. Of course like all such sciences as time marches the situation could change.
"Survival of the fittest" does not mean survival of those who are fittest in the modern sense of "healthy, strong, physically fit." There should be no assumption of "superiority" about it.

It means survival of those who are best "fitted" or "suited" to their environment. It's one of those cases where the language of the time has taken on a new meaning that was not intended — a bit like the exception that proves the rule. (In this context, "proves" means "tests".)

Slugs are a successful species because they are well fitted to their environmental niche. Ditto for jellyfish, algae, and tapeworms.

Therefore, the fact that "we" survived and "they" did not only means that we were better suited/adapted to the changing environment. Put an average modern western Homo Sapiens in an unarmed fight or a cross country race with an average Cro Magnon and see who's fittest in the other sense! My money would be on the Cro Magnon because they lived a hard life and we have become soft.

As for the "mating": yes, some males will stick it in anything that will hold still for long enough, but the important thing is not that coitus occurred (see another thread in this forum about the man who rogered a chicken) but that the female became pregnant and gave birth to fertile offspring.
 

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#24
"Survival of the fittest" does not mean survival of those who are fittest in the modern sense of "healthy, strong, physically fit." There should be no assumption of "superiority" about it.

It means survival of those who are best "fitted" or "suited" to their environment. It's one of those cases where the language of the time has taken on a new meaning that was not intended — a bit like the exception that proves the rule. (In this context, "proves" means "tests".)

Slugs are a successful species because they are well fitted to their environmental niche. Ditto for jellyfish, algae, and tapeworms.

Therefore, the fact that "we" survived and "they" did not only means that we were better suited/adapted to the changing environment. Put an average modern western Homo Sapiens in an unarmed fight or a cross country race with an average Cro Magnon and see who's fittest in the other sense! My money would be on the Cro Magnon because they lived a hard life and we have become soft.

As for the "mating": yes, some males will stick it in anything that will hold still for long enough, but the important thing is not that coitus occurred (see another thread in this forum about the man who rogered a chicken) but that the female became pregnant and gave birth to fertile offspring.
I would think that survival of the fittest speaks for itself? Most Fortean's are likely familiar with Darwin's theory on this. It goes w/o saying that current species are the survivors,be they complex or simple . The complexity of a species has little to due with there survival success. Just take the case of the simple bacteria. They out number and (in mass) out-weight the sum total of all other live forms combined "including plants".
As for Cro Magnom man winning a fight. This would depend on the individual. My bet would be on a solid boxer or an individual from the special forces.
 

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#25
"Survival of the fittest" does not mean survival of those who are fittest in the modern sense of "healthy, strong, physically fit." There should be no assumption of "superiority" about it.

Therefore, the fact that "we" survived and "they" did not only means that we were better suited/adapted to the changing environment. Put an average modern western Homo Sapiens in an unarmed fight or a cross country race with an average Cro Magnon and see who's fittest in the other sense! My money would be on the Cro Magnon because they lived a hard life and we have become soft.
I agree with your clarification that "fittest" means the better fit for the environment.

I disagree though that "they" did not survive.
The "they" I take to mean Denisovan/Neanderthal (and just maybe Ergaster/Erectus and the "Hobbits" too).
They did survive, by remaining in our DNA today. Europeans have at least some Neanderthal ancestry, just as Aussie Aborigines have Denisovan ancestry.
Dominant traits will survive and dominate in the one species that is humanity.
 

Razumov

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#26
This gentleman has microcephaly, which can instantly be spotted when you see the skull ends just behind the ear, rather than extending for several inches.

Back to the specific case of Azzo Bassou ...
For one thing, there's no indication of the notably larger occipital bulge / extension characteristic of skulls from erectus, ergaster, or neanderthalensis.
This is like arguing with Mormons or Creationists. Even when I put the evidence in your face you won't look at it.

Tinerhir_.jpg

The skull doesn't end behind the ear and he has a bulge.

homme_singe_Skoura_2.jpg
Screenshot_2018-11-13 صور خاصة إنسان قرد عاش في جنوب المغرب من 1938 الى 1946 - YouTube.png
 

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#29
I disagree with the Smithsonian view that only Homo sapiens sapiens constitutes "our species". Neanderthals and Denisovans were clearly part of our species too, as the persistence of their DNA today proves.

The bottom line is that I believe, despite the marked differences in the skulls of Aborigines and Europeans, Neanderthals and Cro-magnons, Pygmies, Hobbits (Homo floresiensis) and every other flavour of humankind, past and present, we are all one.
Yes, that's been my thinking for a while.
 
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