Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Dubois, Marie Eugène Francois Thomas

(1858-1940) Dutch physician and paleontologist, and pioneer of brain-size to body-size ratios. Posted to Indonesia in the Dutch Army Medical Service, Dubois was also commissioned by the government to search for fossils. Among other extinct mammals, Dubois’ team located teeth, a skullcap, and a femur. The femur approximated a modern human’s except for the linear shaft and a pathological exostosis, but the estimated brain size was intermediate between apes and humans. Dubois named his missing link Pithecanthropus erectus (= Homo erectus). Dubois returned to the Netherlands in 1895 with his fossils, which he squirreled away in his house, and died alienated from the scientific establishment.

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