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Mas
20th May 09, 01:09 PM
Haven't seen a thread of this:


May 19, 2009—Meet "Ida," the small "missing link" found in Germany that's created a big media splash and will likely continue to make waves among those who study human origins. In a new book, documentary, and promotional Web site (http://www.revealingthelink.com/), paleontologist Jorn Hurum, who led the team that analyzed the 47-million-year-old fossil seen above, suggests Ida is a critical missing-link species in primate evolution (interactive guide to human evolution (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2005/04/flores-hominids/map-interactive) from National Geographic magazine).
(Among the team members was University of Michigan paleontologist Philip Gingerich, a member of the Committee for Research and Exploration (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/grants-programs/cre.html)
The fossil, he says, bridges the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as lemurs.
"This is the first link to all humans," Hurum, of the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway, said in a statement. Ida represents "the closest thing we can get to a direct ancestor."
Ida, properly known as of the National Geographic Society, which owns National Geographic News.) Darwinius masillae, has a unique anatomy. The lemur-like skeleton features primate-like characteristics, including grasping hands, opposable thumbs, clawless digits with nails, and relatively short limbs.
"This specimen looks like a really early fossil monkey that belongs to the group that includes us," said Brian Richmond, a biological anthropologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study.
But there's a big gap in the fossil record from this time period, Richmond noted. Researchers are unsure when and where the primate group that includes monkeys, apes, and humans split from the other group of primates that includes lemurs.
"[Ida] is one of the important branching points on the evolutionary tree," Richmond said, "but it's not the only branching point."
At least one aspect of Ida is unquestionably unique: her incredible preservation, unheard of in specimens from the Eocene era, when early primates underwent a period of rapid evolution. (Explore a prehistoric time line (http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/prehistoric-time-line.html).)
"From this time period there are very few fossils, and they tend to be an isolated tooth here or maybe a tailbone there," Richmond explained. "So you can't say a whole lot of what that [type of fossil] represents in terms of evolutionary history or biology."
In Ida's case, scientists were able to examine fossil evidence of fur and soft tissue and even picked through the remains of her last meal: fruits, seeds, and leaves.
What's more, the newly described "missing link" was found in Germany's Messel Pit. Ida's European origins are intriguing, Richmond said, because they could suggest—contrary to common assumptions—that the continent was an important area for primate evolution.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/images/090519-missing-link-found_big.jpg

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090519-missing-link-found.html


Pretty interesting stuff, will this shut up any creationists? Nah.

Zendetta
20th May 09, 01:10 PM
Pretty interesting stuff

Fascinating.


will this shut up any creationists?

Definitely not.

Kein Haar
20th May 09, 01:33 PM
MJS has a similar build.

Shawarma
20th May 09, 01:37 PM
Looks like a rodent.

HappyOldGuy
20th May 09, 01:40 PM
Dupe posts from different users.

Some kind of DB corruption I suspect.

WarPhalange
20th May 09, 01:46 PM
MJS has a similar build.

Ha ha ha!

fbat
20th May 09, 01:53 PM
The article mentions that the fossil has fingernails instead of claws. They look like claws to me.

The "opposable thumbs" don't look like thumbs, either, but what do I know?

The circumstances of discovery (at least those reported in the NY Daily News article) sound a little fishy as well. I really hope this is real and doesn't turn into another Chinese fossil fiasco.

What does everyone else think?

bonnykate
20th May 09, 07:45 PM
Missing link here

Dark Helmet
20th May 09, 09:53 PM
Missing link here (http://img39.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img0178h.jpg)

That's mean.

rw4th
20th May 09, 11:30 PM
Pretty interesting stuff, will this shut up any creationists?

Nope (http://www.rr-bb.com/showthread.php?t=93704)

theotherserge
20th May 09, 11:58 PM
I'm afraid. This means the next thing they'll unearth are Giant Squid and Mega Shark!

danno
26th May 09, 05:55 AM
"missing link" is a pretty redundant term nowadays. it was more in reference to finding a good fossil record between man and ape as evidence for our evolution. we've dug up a lot of good stuff since then.

this is a really interesting find though.


The article mentions that the fossil has fingernails instead of claws. They look like claws to me.

The "opposable thumbs" don't look like thumbs, either, but what do I know?

yeah, you don't really know much on this topic i'm afraid...


The circumstances of discovery (at least those reported in the NY Daily News article) sound a little fishy as well. I really hope this is real and doesn't turn into another Chinese fossil fiasco.

What does everyone else think?

it's real. it's not necessarily a direct ancestor, and there's nothing really surprising about it. it's basically what we expected to find, and it's in amazing condition.

Kiko
26th May 09, 06:17 AM
http://punditkitchen.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/political-pictures-invisible-keyboard.jpg

Ajamil
26th May 09, 03:24 PM
That really is well preserved. I'd like to hear about the jaw and skull once they look at it some more.

Lebell
27th May 09, 04:29 AM
I'm afraid. This means the next thing they'll unearth are Giant Squid and Mega Shark!

actually, there's videofootage made by aussie fishers of a giant squid (its on youtube) japanese scientists filmed one in the deepsea.

megasharks aka megalodons are extinct but teeth of them have been found.
fucking ten times bigger then a great white's tooth...