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Were Australian Aborigines the first Americans?

A study of hundreds of skulls uncovered in Central and South America are pointing to Australian Aborigines as being the first people to reach America.

Evolutionary biologist Walter Neves of the University of São Paulo, whose findings are reported in a cover story in the latest issue of Cosmos magazine, has examined these skeletons and recovered others, and argues that there is now a mass of evidence indicating that at least two different populations colonised the Americas.

He and colleagues in the United States, Germany and Chile argue that first population was closely related to the Australian Aborigines and arrived more than 11,000 years ago.

The second population to arrive was of humans of ‘Mongoloid’ appearance – a cranial morphology distinctive of people of East and North Asian origin – who entered the Americas from Siberia and founded most (if not all) modern Native American populations, he argues.

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