[See Images of the Ancient Human Skeleton Discovery] Naia reveals that despite any differences in the face and skull between the earliest Americans and modern Native Americans, they were, in fact, significantly related, probably deriving from the same gene pool."Naia is a missing link filling in a gap of knowledge we had about the earliest Americans and modern Native Americans,"lead study author James Chatters, owner of Applied Paleoscience, an archaeological and paleontological consulting firm in Bothell, Washington, told Live Science.Further analysis revealed they were an amalgam of carefully carved and stained human and ape bones.The potential perpetrators included Dawson and Smith Woodward, naturally, but also Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit priest who assisted the excavation, and Martin Hinton, a volunteer who worked with Smith Woodward, among others.This period is also devoid of any relevant fossil material, except for a few fossil scraps too fragmentary for diagnosis.Thus, the recent news that the hominid 'missing link' has been discovered was greeted with great exuberance by the evolutionist community.Many times we hear about supposed “missing links,” especially the ones between apes or ape-like creatures and humans. Lubenow examines these claims in detail and distinguishes between fact and evolutionary speculation.n tracing the alleged evolution of humans from primate ancestors, palaeoanthropologists have been frustrated by the existence of two extensive gaps In the fossil record.Often we hear claims that various fossils are of ancient humans that lived millions of years ago. The first gap, known as the hominoid gap, goes from 32 to 22 million years ago on the evolutionary time-scale.
White (University of California, Berkeley), Gem Suwa (University of Tokyo), and Berhane Asfaw (Ethiopian Ministry of Culture), Known first as Australopithecus ramidus  and later changed to Ardipithecus ramidus,  these fossils were found in sedimentary Pliocene deposits at Aramis, Middle Awash, northern Ethiopia between December 1992 and December 1993.
The ancient skeleton of a teenage girl found in an underwater cave in Mexico may be the missing link that solves the long-standing mystery behind the identity of the first Americans, researchers say.
These findings, the first time researchers have been able to connect an early American skeleton with modern Native American DNA, suggest the earliest Americans are indeed close relatives of modern Native Americans, scientists added.
Based on the bones’ color and the fossilized animals surrounding them, Dawson and Smith Woodward speculated that the individual lived some 500,000 years ago. Its large braincase and apelike jaw and teeth were exactly what these scientists expected to find from a “missing link.” As more and more hominin fossils were discovered over the next few decades in Africa, China, and Indonesia, however, Piltdown Man lost its significance as a singular missing link.
The hoax came to light in 1953 when scientists at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, using the then-new technique of fluorine dating—which relies on the fact that older bones absorb more fluoride from groundwater over time—revealed that Piltdown Man’s bones were not all the same age.
They include fossils found in 1933 and then studied by paleontologist Alan Charig, a former curator of fossil reptiles, amphibians and birds at the Natural History Museum in the 1950s.