"Flipperpithecus" was the name of the "humanoid species" arising from a fossil find that is most likely part of dolphin's rib. The name "Flipperpithecus" was given by anthropologist Dr. Tim White and reported in Science News.
The science magazine New Scientist reported:
|“||A five million-year-old piece of bone that was thought to be a collarbone of a humanlike creature is actually part of a dolphin rib according to an anthropologist at the University of California-Berkeley.||”|
Dr. Tim White, anthropologist at the University of California-Berkeley likened the incident on par with the "Nebraska man" and "Piltdown Man" incidents. Dr. White stated regarding the fossil find, "Seldom has a bone been hyped as much as this one." Anthropologist Dr. Noel Boaz from New York University who made the original classification of the fossil has countered, "I have not gone any further than the evidence allowed."  Dr. Boaz described the fossil find and defended his stance regarding the fossil find in the journals Nature, the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and Natural History. However, at a meeting of physical anthropologist his fellow anthropologist were skeptical of the find some stating that at first glance the bone looks nothing like a collar bone. Dr. White stated that "to be a clavicle, the specimen should have an S...curve, but it does not. Dr. White also stated the blunder may force a rethinking of theories among evolutionary theorists on when the line of man's ancestors separated from that of apes. Johns Hopkins University anthropologist Alan Walker stated that there is a long history of misinterpreting various bones as humanoid clavicles and that it is a amorphous bone and scientist should be very judicious in interpreting it.
Dr. White added "The problem with a lot of anthropologists is that they want so much to find a hominid that any scrap of bone becomes a hominid bone."
- W. Herbert, Science News. 123:246 (1983)
- Ian Anderson, "Hominoid collarbone exposed as dolphin's rib", New Scientist, 28 April 1983, page 199.