News reports of a recent partial fossil skeleton find from Ethiopia’s Afar region, allegedly 3.6 million years old, and dubbed Big Man, is said to represent Australopithecus afarensis, the same species as the famous ‘Lucy’.1,2,3,4However, it is unclear from the description of the fossil skeleton in these news reports whether Big Man’s assignment to the species Australopithecus afarensis has more to do with the alleged geological age of the fossil than its form. More specifically, if evolutionary assumptions are put aside, one can be left with the impression after reading these news reports that what has actually been found may be an ancient human skeleton instead, and not one representingAustralopithecus afarensis. This would be quite significant indeed, and the purpose of this article is to explore the above intriguing possibility.

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