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Dubois, Marie Eugène Francois Thomas

java gibbon homo dutch

[dü bwah ] (1858–1940) Dutch anatomist and palaeoanthropologist: discovered Java Man.

After graduating in medicine from the University of Amsterdam in 1884, Dubois was appointed lecturer in anatomy, but resigned in 1887 after some disagreements with his professor. His great interest in the ‘missing link’ between apes and man prompted him to join the Dutch East Indian Army as a surgeon, this being a convenient way of getting to Java, where he believed that the remains of such a hominid might be found (on the grounds that it is the only place in which the orang-utan and gibbon are found). In 1891, having obtained support from the army in the form of a gang of convict labour, he eventually succeeded in finding the skullcap, femur and two teeth of Java Man ( Homo erectus ), a hominid who lived approximately 0.5–1.5 million years ago. Dubois’s belief that Java Man represented the missing link was at first widely ridiculed but was ultimately accepted after the announcement in 1926 of the discovery of Peking Man (also Homo erectus ). Irritated by the lack of support for his theory, Dubois refused to allow study of his specimens until 1923, by which time he had convinced himself that they were merely the bones of a giant gibbon.

Dudley, James B.(1859–1925) - Educator, college president, Becomes College President, Chronology [next] [back] Du Vigneaud, Vincent

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