Pithecanthropus was discovered by Dutch physician Eugene Dubois (1858-1940). Like his contemporaries, Dubois was heavily influenced by Darwinism.

Pithecanthropus was discovered by Dutch physician Eugene Dubois (1858-1940)

Half a century ago, the classification of fossil hominids did not pose any difficulty: monkey - monkey-human- a human. What is this the "monkey-human"? The longest lasted only one old misconception. It said that the first "true" representative of the human race was well-known Pithecanthropus! (Homo erectus).

Inspired Dubois decided to find the "missing link" of evolution, come what may. The evolution of human from monkeys took place, probably, in the tropics, reasoned Dubois, because that is where today live monkeys!

In 1884, Dubois began to search in the Sunda Islands (Indonesia). Finally, in 1891, near the village of Trinil (about Java) Dubois managed to find the right upper molar tooth and part of the skull of the creature, which he at first mistook for monkey, calling it a "Pithecanthropus erectus". Pithecanthropus lived on Earth about 700,000 years ago.

Pithecanthropus is undoubtedly one of the earliest members of the genus Homo. He had a growth of 165-175 cm, according to the method of movement is no different from modern human. However, Pithecanthropus was clearly not burdened by intellect. His skull is somewhat hard. Brain volume of about 880-900 cm³, low forehead. The jaws were massive, the chin sharply cut. True whole jaw device looks quite "human".

In general, the Pithecanthropus was considered the "missing link" between Australopithecus and modern humans. But...

The new findings have forced the scientific world much to think about. In 1918-1927 Swedish scientists J. Anderson and B. Bolin was found in China, the teeth of fossil anthropoid. Scientists have dubbed it Sinanthropus or "Peking human". His age was about 400-500 thousand years. From whom came the modern human? Was the ancestor of modern human a Pithecanthropus or Sinanthropus?

The remains of the oldest human species Homo erectus have been found in Africa and Europe. The accumulated material is allowed scientists to make great conclusions. First, the age of Pithecanthropus is much greater than previously thought. The antiquity of the most archaic of them reaches 2 million years. The first Pithecanthropus was a contemporary of Australopithecus. Second, the specific differences among the various groups Pithecanthropes so large that you can not talk about biological species and about the independent sort Homo erectus! Finally, Pithecanthropus, aka Homo erectus, is not an ancestor a modern human. These are two separate branches of evolution!..