Their were men/women-animals, but they were not our stock. They did not “lead” to anything. They were species in their own right.
There were animal-men/women. The terms are for our convenience. In some species the animal-like tendencies predominated, in others the manlike and womanlike tendencies did so: Some were more like men and women, some more like animals. The Russian steppes had a particular giant-sized species. Some also i believe in Spain–that area.
There is considerable confusion, for that matter, as to geological ages as they are understood. Such species existed in many of these ages. Man and woman, as we think of him or her, shared the earth with the other creatures just mentioned. In those terms so-called modern man and woman, with our skull structure and so forth, existed alongside of the creatures now supposed to be his/her ancestors.
There was some rivalry among these groups as well as some cooperation. Several species, say, of modern man and woman died out. There was some mating among these groups–that is, among the groups in existence at any given time.
The brain capacities of our particular species have always been the same. Many of the man/woman-animal groups had their own communities. To us they may seem to have been limited, yet they combined animal and human characteristics beautifully, and they used tools quite well. In a manner of speaking they had the earth to themselves for many centuries, in that modern man and woman did not compete with them.
Both the man/women-animals and the animal-men/women were born with stronger instincts. They did not need long periods of protection as infants, but in animal fashion were physically more agile at younger ages than, say, human infants.
The earth has gone through entire cycles unsuspected by our scientists. Modern man and woman, then, existed with other manlike and womanlike species, and appeared in many different places on the earth, and at different ages.
There were then also animal-men/women and man/women-animal civilizations of their kinds, and there were complete civilizations of modern man and woman, existing [long] before the ages now given for, say, the birth of writing(in 3100 b.c.)