One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A former genus name applied to some fossil hominids found in Java in 1891.See Java man
- ‘We encounter the term ‘ape man’ in its Greek version, Pithecanthropus, in the writings of Ernst Haeckel, who was one of Charles Darwin's great supporters in Germany during the nineteenth century.’
- ‘During a dig on the island of Java, he discovered the first fossils of a Pithecanthropus erectus.’
- ‘Everything about Pithecanthropus alalus, or the ‘speechless apeman’ was the product of Haeckel's imagination.’
- ‘Among the early additions were the Pithecanthropus fossils (the so-called Java man) from a human-sized hominid with heavy brow ridges and a brain of intermediate size.’
- ‘This ‘Java or Solo man’ was named Pithecanthropus erectus, which means ‘upright ape man’.’
Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek pithēkos ‘ape’ + anthrōpos ‘man’.
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