Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Transitional Form

Fossil that is thought to have both primitive and derived features; not fully either one form or another, but rather exhibiting traits from two different species, such as Homo erectus/H. sapiens or Neandertal/modern. The term tends to be used by researchers who prefer the polyphyletic hypothesis of modern human origins, as opposed to the use of archaic forms.

See monophyletic hypothesis.

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