The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestors

  • Published 3 years ago
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Ida know, the little missing link that is created in Germany a great welcome the media and probably will continue to make waves among those who study human origins. In this documentary the palaeontologist Jorn Hurum, who led the team that analyzed the fossil 47 million years have seen suggests that Ida is an important missing link in the evolution of primate species.
The fossil, he says, bridges evolutionary split between the higher primates such as monkeys, apes and humans and their distant relatives, such as lemurs. This is the first link in all human beings, Hurum, Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway, said in a statement. Ida is the closest we can come to a direct ancestor. Ida, well known as Darwinius masillae, has a unique anatomy. The lemur-like the skeleton of the characteristics of primate-like features, including holding hands, opposable thumbs, figures without claws and claw relatively short limbs. “This specimen is similar to early fossil monkey belonging to the group that includes us, said Brian Richmond, an anthropologist at George Washington University in Washington, DC, who was not involved in the study, published this week in the journal PLoS ONE.

But there is a large gap in the fossil record of this period of time, Richmond said. Researchers are not sure when and where the group of primates that includes monkeys, apes and humans diverged from the other group of primates including lemurs. “[Ida] is one of the important points of branching in the evolutionary tree,” Richmond said. “But is not the only branch point” At least one aspect of Ida is certainly unique: preservation incredible, unheard of in the samples of the Eocene, when the first primates underwent a period of rapid evolution. (Explore a prehistoric time line.) “From this time there are very few fossils, and they tend to be an isolated tooth here or there maybe a tailbone,” said Richmond. “So you can not say much about what [type of fossil] represents in terms of evolutionary history and biology.”

For Ida, the scientists were able to examine the fossil evidence of skin and soft tissue and even picked through the remains of his last meal: fruit, seeds and leaves. Moreover, the recently described “missing link” was found in Messel Pit in Germany. Ida European origins are intriguing, Richmond said, because it might suggest – contrary to common assumptions – that the continent was an important area for the evolution of primates.

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