Hominin fossils are rare, there are many gaps in the data and there are endless disagreements about the story of human evolution with exaggerated claims and angry debates between rival scholars. Palaeoanthropologists are a lot like early explorers excitedly making and naming new fi nds and competing for fame and glory. It takes a strong mind not to treat their own spectacular discovery as a new species and proclaim that they have the crucial missing link in the story of human development.