Ascent of Man image should be ‘the other way around’, leading expert in human evolution says

The idea that humans evolved from a knuckle-dragging ape, leaving chimpanzees in the Darwinian dust, was crystallised in the famous ‘ascent of man’ image.

But ongoing research on a 3.7-million-year-old fossilised skeleton of an early type of human could prove the orderly procession is actually the wrong way round, according to a leading expert.

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Swansea, Professor Robin Crompton argued that humans, apes and chimpanzees all evolved from a common ancestor who walked upright and lived in the trees.

So it was the chimps who changed their body shape to allow them to move at high speed on all four limbs, while humans carried on using two.

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