Could It Be The Missing Link In Anthropoid Evolution?

The New York Natural History Museum presents the remains of a primate that could be the “missing link”.

Ida is 47 million years old but is very well preserved for its age. “It is the most complete primate fossil that was ever found,” explains the group of scientists that is presenting today the remains of a young female who, they say, could be the “missing link” in the evolution of anthropoids.

The fossil of Ida, 58 centimeters in length, is twenty times older than the majority of existing remnants that explain the human evolution. Scientists say that it could be a transitional specy that shows characteristics of a very primitive prosimian lineage, at the root of the anthropoid evolution, when the first primates developed features that later evolve into monkeys, apes and humans species.

“This specimen is like finding the Lost Ark for an archaeologist,” said Jorn Huruma, a Norwegian scientist from the University of Oslo. For the last 2 years, Huruma has directed the team of paleontologists who analysed the fossil and studied its genetic code.


According to the German paleontologist, Jens Franzen, Darwinius masillae, official name of the fossil, named in honor of Charles Darwin, but nicknamed Ida, “is by far the most complete primate fossil that was ever found. When we publish the results of our investigation , it will have the same effect as if an asteroid hit the Earth.”

Well, I understand that it is a very impressive finding, and that scientists have good reasons to get excited, but I’m not sure that it will change people life as much as “if an asteroid hit the Earth”.

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