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J Anat. 2000 Jul;197 ( Pt 1):3-17.

Investigating human evolutionary history.

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George Washington University and Human Origins Program, National Museum for Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20052, USA.


We rely on fossils for the interpretation of more than 95% of our evolutionary history. Fieldwork resulting in the recovery of fresh fossil evidence is an important component of reconstructing human evolutionary history, but advances can also be made by extracting additional evidence for the existing fossil record, and by improving the methods used to interpret the fossil evidence. This review shows how information from imaging and dental microstructure has contributed to improving our understanding of the hominin fossil record. It also surveys recent advances in the use of the fossil record for phylogenetic inference.

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