In their recent communication, Mongle et al. argue that there are several problems with our recent analysis. Here we show that none of our divergence-time estimates are contrary to the current palaeoanthropological evidence and the conclusions reached by Mongle et al. are not supported, as their results are almost identical to ours. Furthermore, we also show that some of their criticisms are based on either incorrect information and flawed interpretations of the available evidence.
In Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1–3 (2022)
I am an evolutionary anthropologist and vertebrate palaeobiologist mainly focused on human, primate and mammalian evolution. My main interest is to study organismal evolution by reconstructing and comparing the palaeobiology of fossils to their living ecological relatives. In order to do this, I apply a combination of phylogenetics, 3D morphometrics, virtual biomechanical techniques, computational simulations, statistical modelling, phylogenetic comparative methods, and fieldwork. I am part of the Venditti group, University of Reading, within the framework of the Leverhulme project ‘The evolutionary and biogeographical routes to hominin diversity’. I am also a research affiliate at the Institute of Human Sciences, University of Oxford, where I work together with the Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa, Mozambique.