Fossil Ida: extraordinary find is ‘missing link’ in human evolution

Comments  based on religious doctrine or aimed at ‘debunking’ science

will NOT be posted.  

Scientists have discovered an exquisitely preserved ancient primate fossil that they believe forms a crucial “missing link” between our own evolutionary branch of life and the rest of the animal kingdom.

The 47m-year-old primate – named Ida – has been hailed as the fossil equivalent of a “Rosetta Stone” for understanding the critical early stages of primate evolution.

The top-level international research team, who have studied her in secret for the past two years, believe she is the most complete and best preserved primate fossil ever uncovered. The skeleton is 95% complete and thanks to the unique location where she died, it is possible to see individual hairs covering her body and even the make-up of her final meal – a last vegetarian snack.

via Fossil Ida: extraordinary find is ‘missing link’ human evolution | Science |


48 Responses to Fossil Ida: extraordinary find is ‘missing link’ in human evolution

  1. Meredith says:

    I would have thought it was a reptile by looking at the skeleton. That’s a verrrry long tail.

  2. Hello,

    I loved your blog and the look and feel is just great.

    You have a great blog here.Keep up the good work.

    The content on your blog is great and the information is really useful.

    Thanks a lot.


  3. JJ says:

    Maybe religion will finally be scrapped.

  4. ADC says:

    It looks somewhat like the Montauk Monster!

  5. Hao Wooi Lim says:

    So we’re the descendants of the dinosaurs now, is that it?

  6. harleynightrider says:

    My God! It’s my missing Uncle George!!

  7. Gina says:

    Fantastic post! I love it! Thank you for setting things straight. This is perfect.

  8. chris says:

    First: cool site and great info.
    Second: I’m sending you an e-hug of immense gratitude regarding your “Notice”, you tell ’em!

  9. zaxy says:

    Thanks to all for the compliments on the blog. After a busy couple of years, I’m trying to make a point to add entries more frequently.

    Thanks for the props and the e-hug, also- I never realized just how psychotic some ‘christian’ bloggers can be until I posted this piece about Ida. I’m sure they meant to scare me, but since I was raised by Jews, Catholics and Jehovah’s Witnesses AND used to live in Berkeley… well, I’m pretty immune to Crazy.

  10. Grace says:

    I think the information on this website is really interesting! thank you for posting. People need to be aware of how amazing and beautiful the world is. I am also a christian. Thank you again.

  11. Joy says:

    Love your site,awesome!

    from a former Christian. 🙂

  12. Randy says:

    Love it – you hit the nail on the head. Thanks for telling it like it is and calling them out. Great blog!

  13. Louise says:

    Wow, what a fantastic find – amazing detail. I’m so glad you haven’t been silenced. Your site is fantastic and makes me appreciate our wonderful world amongst the busyness of my day. Thanks so much – keep it up.

  14. Nova says:

    Hao Wooi Lim, are you serious?… the fact that its a preserved skeleton doesnt make it a dinosaur. wow

  15. chris says:

    You might want to pick up a philosophy of science journal. this comment has nothing to do with the origins debate, just a response to the ignorant view of science expressed in the preface.

  16. Joyce says:

    Just found the blog today on stumble- love it. Keep up the GREAT work- special complements to the angsty post dealing with people who don’t understand evolution.
    More more more!

  17. dfh90 says:

    Ridiculous!…dinosaurs and humans existed together…haven’t any of you geniuses ever seen the documentary Jurassic Park? the guy who made it even got an oscar

  18. hannah says:

    I don’t really care if you delete this or not, but I just wanted to say, don’t assume all religious people are stupid. Sure some are (like those that think the earth is 500 years old), but some of us can appreciate both religion and science. I happen to think that you don’t have to choose between creationism and evolution. But anyway. Tolerance is a good thing to learn.

    And yes, I do know what promulgated means.


    Editor’s Note:
    ~~Do not assume that I assume.

  19. Brett says:

    Well, zaxy I’m not really trying to scare you, but evolution is not taught as theory anymore and almost everyday something is said on the media about our supposed roots. Forget religion. The whole concept is lame. That’s just my personal point of view. Not trying to argue the point since that would be futile. I’ve never gained an inch with any evolutionist, ever, and expect I never will. Interesting fossil find though.

  20. Seb says:

    Wow, zaxy, way to be tolerant. People like you are one of the reasons there is so much hate between science and religion. It is one thing to not want religious ranters posted on your site, calling their beliefs “witchdoctor mumbo jumbo” is just plain rude and inconsiderate. All you would have had to say is that you do not post peoples’ religious views on your site, end of story. But instead you attack them back. You are no better than they are, in fact, you are worse because you have the upper hand to begin with (this is your blog) and you could have simply told them to stop. I found this site through stumbleupon and at first i enjoyed reading about all the fascinating new discoveries but then I saw your religious intolerance and I decided to give it a “thumbs down” despite my primary inclinations.

    Maybe next time you will think about your readers before you post anything that could turn them away.


    (Zaxy says: Thank you, Seb. Your comments, while also on the attack, were accurate in their essence. While the original reasons for the notice did indeed deserve and necessitate its wording AT THE TIME, it has long since served its purpose. While I do not regret the message as it stood before, I agree with you, now – all that is needed is a simple comment. I will fix that now. Thank you for taking the time to point out the imbalance in my intent vs my action. As a return favor, I will mention that using generalizations such as ‘people like you’ rarely engenders receptiveness to whatever may follow- no matter how well-intended it may be. Thanks again! ~Z)

  21. Davis says:

    I happen to be a christian as well and while I believe that a higher power is responsible for all this, is it not possible that said higher power could have given us evolution?
    some religious people are so ignorant it astounds me.
    I’m not here to make any major point except to say I think anything is possible with the amount of living species and phenomena that exist in a world like ours that is so vast and overwhelming.
    The world is a beautiful place, evolution of man and animal alike never cease to blow my mind.
    And I thank God for that.

  22. Aliea says:

    Props and thanks for a great site. I love taking my 4-year old here and showing her the awesomeness of the world she’s a part and piece of. Evolution is amazing and fascinating to her (and me!). Science is alive and irrefutable. The rest will fall away if we simply SHOW our children the world and teach them compassion and sense. Just saying thank you, for supporting tomorrow’s minds with this wonderful resource!

  23. Tony says:

    I love your site. Found it using stumbleupon. If there is any chance at all I could get on your mailing list of ridiculous fundie mail, [just read your notice]I would forever be in your debt. I find their viewpoint as interesting as science itself. Albeit my fascination with the religious mind is not unlike that of my fascination with the bizarre pitcher plant that eats rats. Anyway, thanks for your blog. Me and my son love it.


  24. Tony says:

    One other thing Zaxy….

    If they’re shooting at ya, ya know you’re doing something right!

    Keep up the good fight.


  25. Rebecca says:

    This is the first article i’ve read so far and this is already my favorite blog ever. Thank you for being alive.

  26. elixirsu says:

    Two things. Brett, please look up what “theory” means in the context of science. It does not mean the same thing as a hypothesis, as you seem to think it does. The existence of gravity, for example, is a scientific theory. It simply means the currently accepted explanation of whatever is being addressed (in this case evolution is the most logical explanation we have at this point for how different species came to be).

    Second, could we please have a special side page somewhere for the ridiculous accusatory comments and attacks you say you are getting? I’d like to read them. And then laugh.

    Thanks! 🙂

  27. Marge says:

    Love your blog! You tell ’em!

    Science and religion/spirituality do not have to be in opposition to each other, regardless of what the fundies think. Nothing makes me feel more blessed than when I consider how amazing it is to be part of a world of such beauty and variety.

  28. coşkun says:

    very very nice post!
    especially, i like the democracy warning and scientific journal vs bible part. =)

  29. Roberta says:

    … I was wondering if there had been any estimates on how big these primates COULD have grown? I followed the link to the full article and it said this sub-adult was around 53cm.

    (thank you for your comment, roberta!)

  30. mikeh says:

    After 12 years of Catholic school education(and about 4 sacraments), I realized that religion is complete BS and it holds you back from truly appreciating such complex processes such as evolution. Thank you for this post, it appears as if evolution and differentiation is happening more rapidly than before…I love reading about new and interesting animals…especially the slug that can produce energy from sunlight…so amazing what has arisen from just one cell!

  31. Rebeca says:

    Wow, I love your site. I “stumbled” upon it, and it is sooo fascinating and hope-full! Life will find a way, won’t it? I can imagine the kinds of comments you get from people whose beliefs you threaten with your posts. As a “trying-to-be-Christian”, I know being challenged is the only way people stop lying to themselves about how they lie to themselves…does that make sense? So, by being honest and forthcoming with your evidence, you provide that challenge. I think religion is evolving, which, if you think about it, is really funny!! 🙂 Thanks again for an awesome site!
    p.s. I’m kind of glad we haven’t “evolved” technologically any faster, all those undiscovered habitats might have already been tampered with…

  32. Erik says:

    My father is a micropaleontologist a member of the national academy of sciences. A somewhat famous evolutionist. I love him. I grew up reading (among other things) Gould, E.O. Wilson, Scientific American ..all that…in a somewhat intellectual and artsy home. Still love scientific publications and websites like this. Yep.. I’m one of those “fundies”. Sometimes I like to read the endless chatter posted on blogs where atheists and the religious and the “can’t we all get along” people go back and forth with great futility. It mostly devolves into mud slinging and “you stupid idiot” comments. Real smart, provocative, mind encouraging stuff.
    Thanks for the website though. Very interesting stuff.

    • zaxy says:

      Yes… I am currently debating on posting the back and forth comments and just letting people have their say, but eventually that would be all there is on this site. I’d rather keep it to just the discoveries.

      Although, in response to all of you who have asked me to post the messages that prompted the notice in the first place: Unfortunately those are long gone. Also, the notice itself has had its desired effect. I don’t get any more death threats and other excessive hate mail type feedback. Instead, now it’s simply long explanations of why so-and-so feels i am close minded by preventing religious discussion at all. Meh. Ultimately, the fossil itself is old news. Perhaps, should another ‘link’ be found, i will find a way to handle the comments that will allow for more debate, discussion, and 3-ring circus. 🙂

      For now, i’m pretty much posting the stuff that keeps the religion to a backseat to the fossil. Which, sadly, is about 1 in 20.

  33. Krissy says:

    I “stumbled upon” this and I basically DIEEED with laughter while reading your blog. You hit the nail right on the head!!

    “…and study something other than your bible. It might just open your mind to the beauty and joys of this amazing world we live in- regardless of who, what, or how it came to be!” I LOVE IT! hhahaha you made my whole day!

  34. Chris says:

    Hi there Zaxy.

    Awesome blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog. Please can you set up a page of idiot comments that we can rate on crazy scale. I would love to read what some of these people write.

    Good work
    South Africa

  35. Christian says:

    Hi, great blog very interesting and fun to read, but what made me comment was your “note to fundies”. I could not agree more and am happy to see someone willing to state their feelings. Kudos to you!

    Right on!


  36. The Dawktor says:

    Excellent response to the scientifically ignorant! Keep up the good work and great Blog!

  37. kirsty says:

    i loved your blog & all the interesting little tidbits i picked up from it. keep up the wonderful work!

  38. jonathan says:

    I like how the warning is longer than the post:). As a Catholic (but not particularly devout) I believe its completely realistic to believe in a blend of evolution and intelligent design, which is actually what the Catholic Church teaches anyway. But, don’t be so quick to delete comments from one end of the spectrum and ignore comments from the other end.

  39. Jordan Bates says:

    This is an extraordinary find. I happened upon your blog on Stumble Upon and have been perusing it in intrigue for about 15 minutes. Keep up the good work. I sure do love the sublimity of this planet.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps I’m not looking at this the way I should, but I really, really do not see anything but a monkey in those skeletal remains. The extended digits on the feet that look like long thumbs, the petite pelvic bone structure, the elongated fingers on the hands, the shape of the head and the strong, long tail all point to a monkey. You yourself state that it was covered with hair, so, again, what about this makes it “the missing link”?

  41. Richie h says:

    … Thank you for the amazing articles, they are absolutely fascinating, keep them coming!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Looking at your “Notice” It seems to me that you’re pretty much a mean spirited person and one with a closed mind yourself.
    That being said, Ida is pretty cool.

  43. Okara says:

    Just Stumbled onto your site. Fascinating! We live on such a marvellous little rock. Thanks for taking the time to share your findings.

    And thank you for standing up for those of us who have chosen to think for ourselves.

  44. Mick Fowler says:

    Great, wonderful blog. Imagine : [some] believe that the wide, wonderful universe is some kind of an artifact? Sad.

  45. molly monday says:

    I can’t help but love the notice right above. 🙂

  46. zaxy says:

    Finally finding time to tend to this blog, i’ve found several comments along the lines of what Hailey (above) and ‘anonymous’ (below) have to say. Rather than argue their points, i’ll simply ask them to reread the notice before spending time writing long homilies explaining to me why my notice makes me horrid.

    I very specifically said that “if they are based on religious doctrine or are aimed at ‘debunking’ science, they will not- I repeat– without fail they WILL NOT be posted.” Nowhere did i say that religion was unwelcome in your comments, or the absence of religion- provided your comments involved a clear and concise discussion of the fossil.

    Rather, i would ask you to look into yourselves, and inspect what it is that makes you immediately defensive when i make it clear that comments BASED ON religious doctrine and AIMED AT debunking science will not be humored here. What is it in your sense of self and security in your faith (lack thereof?) that makes you feel the need to spend time writing to me to tell me how horrid i am for presenting a scientific forum for a science-based subject?

    My religion is none of anyone’s business, nor is it being brought to bear on my comments or postings here. Why do you feel it’s necessary for yours to be included? There is no ‘case’ to be argued. A fossil was found. This is the article. There is no ‘case’ to be argued regarding that fact. Comments are here for people to say, ‘how interesting!’ and- should i be so lucky- to discuss the scientific parameters of the fossil itself. It’s not a debate forum, nor is there any need to discuss ‘the case.’ Check it out. Enjoy it. Hate it. Do what you wish with the information, but know it exists. Keep your arguments of ‘the case’ for the MANY forums that are set up for such discussion.

    Regardless. 🙂 Thank you for your time and comments, and while i have faith that those of you who have predicted my eternity in hell are simply in need of a little more spiritual growth, i do appreciate the energy you spent on me. 🙂

    Free your Imagination.

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