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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 6:56 pm 
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Missing link found? Scientists unveil fossil of 47 million-year-old primate, Darwinius masillae

"Feast your eyes on what a group of scientists claim is the Holy Grail of human evolution.

A team of researchers Tuesday unveiled an almost perfectly intact fossil of a 47 million-year-old primate they say represents the long-sought missing link between humans and apes.

Officially known as Darwinius masillae, the fossil of the lemur-like creature dubbed Ida shows it had opposable thumbs like humans and fingernails instead of claws.

Scientists say the cat-sized animal's hind legs offer evidence of evolutionary changes that led to primates standing upright - a breakthrough that could finally confirm
Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

"This specimen is like finding the Lost Ark for archeologists," said lead scientist Jorn Hurum during a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History.

"It is the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail. This fossil will probably be the one that will be pictured in all textbooks for the next 100 years."

A team of amateur fossil hunters discovered the near-perfect remains inside a mile-wide crater outside of Frankfurt, Germany, in 1983.

Experts believe the pit was a volcanic caldera where scores of animals from the Eocene period were killed and their remains were kept remarkably well-preserved.

Though the pit has been a bountiful source of other fossils, the inexperienced archeologists didn't realize the value of their find.

Years later, the University of Oslo bought the 95%-intact fossil, and Hurum studied it in secret for two years.

His colleague, Jens Franzen, hailed the discovery as "the eighth wonder of the world."

"We're not dealing with our grand, grand, grandmother, but perhaps with our grand, grand, grand aunt," Franzen said.

The unveiling of the fossil came as part of a carefully-orchestrated publicity campaign unusual for scientific discoveries.

A History Channel film on the discovery will air next week. A book release, and a slew of other documentaries will follow.

Missing link found? Scientists unveil fossil of 47 million-year-old primate, Darwinius masillae


47-million-year-old human link revealed

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 7:22 pm 
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I just saw this earlier on the evening news. I can't wait to hear what the creationist apologists will have to say about it.

Trick of the devil?

Post Garden of Eden era fossil?

Amalgamation of man and beast from the wicked pre-flood times of Noah?

:lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:49 am 
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"God put this here to test our faith :shock:"

But, to lower the hype around this find a little bit... AronRa's Ida Know

Edit: Speaking of creationists, Aron-Ra's response to one, on the issue of Ida.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:32 pm 
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Closest Human Ancestor May Rewrite Steps in Our Evolution

"Fossils of the extinct hominid known as Australopithecus sediba were accidentally discovered by the 9-year-old son of a scientist in the remains of a cave in South Africa in 2008, findings detailed by researchers last year. The fossils' mix of human and primitive traits found in the brains, hips, feet and hands make a strong case for it being the immediate ancestor to the human lineage, scientists report in the Sept. 9, 2011, issue of the journal Science.

The fossils included remains of a male juvenile (whose cranium is shown here) along with a female of the same species, who was likely in her 20s or 30s."

"Two key specimens were discovered — a juvenile male as developed as a 10- to 13-year-old human and an adult female maybe in her late 20s or early 30s. The species is both a hominid and a hominin — hominids include humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and their extinct ancestors, while hominins include those species after Homo, the human lineage, split from that of chimpanzees.

To begin to see where Au. sediba might fit on the family tree, researchers pinned down the age of the fossils by dating the calcified sediments surrounding them with advanced uranium-lead dating techniques and a method called paleomagnetic dating, which measures how many times the Earth's magnetic field has reversed. They discovered the fossils were approximately 1.977 million years old, which predates the earliest appearances of traits specific to the human lineage Homo in the fossil record. This places Au. sediba in roughly the same age category as hominids such as Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, which were thought to be potential ancestors to Homo erectus, the earliest undisputed predecessor of modern humans....."

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