from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. Java Man.
- proper n. Former name of Homo erectus/
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- proper n. A hypothetical genus of primates intermediate between man and the anthropoid apes.
- proper n. A genus consisting of an extinct primate (Pithecanthropus erectus) apparently intermediate between man and the existing anthropoid apes, known from bones first found in Java (hence called Java man) in 1891-92, and other bones found later. The species was renamed Homo erectus around 1960. The Javan bones are believed to be from 1.6 to 1.9 million years old, and include a thigh bone of the human type, two molar teeth intermediate between those of man and the anthropoids, and the calvaria of the skull, indicating a brain capacity of about 900 cubic centimeters, and resembling in form that of the Neanderthal man. Additional specimens of what are considerd as variants of the species have been found in China, Africa, and Europe. Homo erectus is currently believed to have evolved in Africa from Homo habilis, the first member of the genus Homo. Anatomically and physiologically, Homo erectus resembles contemporary humans except for having a stouter bone structure.
Homo erectus was then known only from fossils discovered in Java in the 1890s—although the remains a jawbone, skullcap, thighbone, and two teeth were initially classified as Pithecanthropus erectus, or the “erect ape man.”
All the fossils that had been called Pithecanthropus—for example, Java and Peking men—were now labeled Homo erectus, as Clark Howell had suggested in an influential 1960 paper.
"Pithecanthropus" erectus, described by the Dutch anatomist Eugene Dubois, was an immediate sensation.
He's a cross between Mohamed Atta and Pithecanthropus erectus.
Tales like "The Devil's Asteroid" and "Pithecanthropus Rejecticus" have been reprinted but there are many others that deserve to be collected and read again.
‘On the gibbon-like appearance of Pithecanthropus erectus’
As I said, both the Java and Peking specimens of Pithecanthropus have now been shown to be quite young, less than a million years old.
Creationists have from time to time used as a political weapon the allegation that Dubois backed off from his claim that Pithecanthropus was an intermediate ape-man.
Pithecanthropus Java Man was not a man, but a gigantic genus allied to the gibbons, however superior to the gibbons on account of its exceedingly large brain volume and distinguished at the same time by its faculty of assuming an erect attitude and gait.
Twenty-two year old Lester del Rey was complaining to his then-girlfriend about Manly Wade Wellman's "Pithecanthropus Rejectus", and she challenged him to do better.
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