If you think I’m kidding about scientists doubling as fantasy writers, get a load of this from Wikipedia:
Pan prior is the name suggested by British biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham for the last common ancestor of humans (Homo sapiens ) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) . This species is supposed, on the basis of DNA reconstruction (no fossil remains have been found), to have existed prior to six million years ago, when the human and chimpanzee lines are thought to have diverged. Pan prior lived an arboreal existence in the forests of Africa. It was initially thought that an Ice Age, around seven million years ago, caused forests to shrink thus prompting some members of the species to venture into the savannah, becoming the ancestors of humanity…
And so on: solid humbug, every word of it. I mean, they’ve invented this animal in their own imaginations, there’s no fossil, not a shred of evidence, and on they go to study it and discourse and write about it just as if it were real. But it is not real. It’s a fantasy creation, like an Ent or a Dragon.
What the heck, who needs evidence anymore?