The Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian "is dedicated to understanding the biological and cultural foundations of human life." Their new site gives visitors an accessible and informative tour of the current state of human paleontology. At the heart of the site is a hypertext family tree of early human phylogeny that helps users see not only the relations between various incarnations of human ancestors, but lets them click on parts of the timetable to examine fossil evidence and read about the discovery of and conclusions drawn from crucial skull bones and fragments. Another section allows users to examine three key fossilized skulls with QuickTime, so that one can rotate the skull and zoom in on key features. The What's Hot! in Paleoanthropology section offers readable summaries of key professional articles published in the field in the last three years. Finally, users are invited to ask questions via email of the paleontologists at the Human Origins Program. Some of these will, no doubt, be posted in the yet-to-be completed Frequently Asked Questions portion of the site. Ironically enough, materials for the latest entries in the human family tree, including Homo sapiens, are still under construction.


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