Researchers have discovered fossils of a human ancestor in Ethiopia up to 3.5 million-years-old that overlaps in time with the famous Lucy species, Australopithecus afarensis.
Another human ancestor has been unearthed, or if not a direct ancestor at least a club-swingin’ cousin. It blows my mind to think that there were once other species of humans sharing this planet with homo sapiens. I tend to think of humans as THE species, and understandably so since we’re the only one (that we know of). What if there were other species of humans alive today? What would they look like? How much like us would they be? I sometimes think hardline Republicans are a separate species, but I’m talking about separateness on the genetic level.
This is all very interesting, you may say, but what does it have to do with werewolves? Plenty, I believe. Accepting evolution as fact, we must understand that there was a time when humans were still essentially animals. As there were different species of human animals, it’s a safe bet our ancestors made war against and were preyed upon by them. Did these others practice cannibalism, the way Chimpanzees, our closest genetic relatives, are known to? A shaggy, manlike creature with a possible appetite for human meat. Could this image somehow survive as a race memory in our collective subconscious, reinterpreted as that psychological scapegoat, the werewolf?