Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Clark, Wilfred Edward Le Gros (1895-1971)

British physician and functional anatomist (Oxford); known for early descriptions of the tree shrew (Tupaia, which he considered a primate) and the tarsier (Tarsius) while in Borneo (now Sarawak); compared the known fossil primates to extant species, and believed in viewing the total morphological pattern when considering adaptations and when attributing a fossil to a taxon; probably the first major scientist to support Dart’s view that australopithecines are hominids, at the first Pan-African Congress in 1947. Supported the arboreal theory of primate evolution; considered by some to be the first primatologist; involved in the exposure of the Piltdown fraud; critic of the Homo habilis taxon; Viking Fund medallist (1955).

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