It makes for great clickbait, but the term “Missing Link” isn’t well accepted in the scientific community.
“COULD THIS FOSSIL BE EVIDENCE OF THE MISSING LINK?!?!?!!./.11.|!! - says every news report when archeologists make an evolutionary discovery. It makes for great clickbait, but the term “Missing Link” isn’t well accepted in the scientific community. They prefer “transitional morphologies” to describe fossil discoveries that have anatomical features of both older and more recent physiology.
Now the million dollar question: have we actually found the hypothetical extinct creature that sits halfway between modern humans and our primate ancestors? Maybe. In 2019, scientists identified this guy as the new “family tree member” between upright apes who lived 3 million years ago and Homo habilis who lived 1.5 to 2.1 million years ago. Remember, if you’re not a fan of modern life, we can always go back to that.