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Composite: George Busk and skull of Gibraltar man

Composite: George Busk and skull of Gibraltar man

E438/0034

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Credit

JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Portrait of the anatomist and anthropologist George Busk (1807-86) and the hominid fossil skull Gibraltar man. Gibraltar man is classified as a Neanderthal Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, who lived from 100,000 to 35,000 years ago and then vanished from the fossil record. It was Busk who brought the discovery of Neanderthal man to the attention of the scientific community in the mid nineteenth century. As a Darwinian, Busk believed that humans were related to primates and pointed out the resemblance between the skull of Neanderthal man and the gorilla and chimpanzee. He initiated the long-running and often acrimonious debate of the primate ancestry of humans.

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