Photograph: Darwinius Marseille, Franzen et al. 2009, by way of Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.5.

The perfect-preserved fossil primate but found was acquired from a non-public assortment for the Pure Historical past Museum in Oslo by Norwegian paleontologist Jrn Hurum in 2008. The outstanding fossil originated from the well-known Eocene (about 47 mya) Meisel space in Germany and was named Darwinius Marseille Nevertheless it turned extra well-known below its nickname “Ida”. To finance Fossil’s very costly buy (allegedly for the quantity of $750,000), Hurum deliberate a novel publicity stunt involving a ebook with the sensational title. Hyperlink: Uncovering our oldest ancestor (Tudge & Younger 2009) and a TV documentary by the BBC and Historical past Channel titled the lacking hyperlink, The latter was narrated by a minimum of Richard Attenborough and marketed with a ridiculous TV teaser that in contrast the significance of the invention to occasions akin to Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy assassination, and the Apollo 11 moon touchdown.

an exaggerated fossil

The large media marketing campaign made headlines on the earth press, who weren’t glad with merely calling the fossil a lacking hyperlink, however solely “The Hyperlink” or “the eighth surprise of the world” (Randerson 2009). Within the authentic description the authors claimed that darwinius A protracted lacking hyperlink within the evolution of anthropoids, the primate group that features not solely monkeys and apes but additionally us people (Franzen et al. 2009). Early criticism targeted on media hype, careless research, and proof that Ida could have been a lemur as a substitute (Barras & Hooper 2009, Beard 2009, Dalton 2009; see additionally Luskin 2009a, 2009b, 2010).

Two new research of the fossil printed inside a 12 months by Seifert et al. (2009) and Williams et al. (2010) really reversed the daring authentic declare and confirmed that darwinius Belongs to the well-known adaptoid group, which is taken into account nearer to lemurs than anthropoid primates. The unique authors tried to defend their standpoint (Gingrich et al. 2010), however have been hard-pressed to elucidate why their phylogenetic evaluation based mostly on some characters and a few taxa was based mostly on many extra characters and taxa. Contrasting research ought to be left behind, thus a really broad information base.

It appears that evidently somebody within the scientific group and even the media swallowed this unsuccessful apology for an exaggerated fossil (see Wikipedia articles on darwinius) At this time the overall opinion is that darwinius Not a lacking hyperlink in any respect, not even a real monkey, however simply one other consultant of a comparatively insignificant early side-branch of primates.


  • Baras C & Hooper R 2009. Q&A: Jorn Hurum on Ida, Media Hype and Intimate Growth. new scientist 27 Could 2009.
  • Beard C 2009. Why Ida Fossil Is Not a Lacking Hyperlink. new scientist 21 Could 2009.
  • Franzen JL, Gingerich PD, Habersetzer J, Hurum JH, von Koenigswald W & Smith BH 2009. Full primate skeleton from the center Eocene of Messel in Germany: morphology and paleobiology. yet one more 4(5):e5723, 1-27. DOI:
  • Dalton R 2009. The Fossil Primate challenged Ida’s place. Nature 461, 1040. DOI:
  • Gingerich PD, Franzen JL, Habersetzer J, Huram JH, and Smith BH: darwinius situation There’s a haplorhine – reply to Williams et al. (2010). Journal of Human Growth 59(5), 574-579. DOI:
  • Luskin C 2009a. The Large Ida: The Rise and Fall of One other Lacking Hyperlink and Different Media Hype. salvo journal 10.
  • Luskin C 2009b. Evolution of “Ida”: darwinius situation Fossil downgraded from ancestral to domesticated. growth information 24 October 2009.
  • Luskin C 2010. The Rise and Fall of the Lacking Hyperlink Famous person “Ida”. concept middle,
  • Randerson J 2009. Deal in Hamburg bar leads scientist to ‘eighth surprise of the world’ Ida fossil. Guardian19 Could 2009.
  • Seifert ER, Perry JGM, Simmons EL and Boyer DM 2009. Convergent evolution of anthropoid-like diversifications in Eocene adepiform primates. Nature 461(7267), 1118-1121. DOI:
  • Tj C & Younger J 2009. Hyperlink: Uncovering our oldest ancestor, Little Brown & Firm, Boston (MA), 272 pp.
  • Williams BA, Ok RF, Kirk EC, Ross CF 2010. darwinius situation There’s a strepsirrhineda reply to Franzen et al. (2009). Journal of Human Growth 59(5), 567-573. DOI:

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