The evidence for the good ol’ Theory of Evolution just keeps on piling up (though by this stage, it would take some sort of mountaineering team equipped with three weeks of supplies and a team of sherpers to get to the type of the mountain of evidence we already have). A 47 million year old fossil has been uncovered which is apparently a common ancestory of, well, the common ancestor we shared with various other primates.
Scientists in New York unveiled the skeleton of what they said could be the common ancestor to humans, apes and other primates.
The tiny creature, officially known as Darwinius masillae, but dubbed Ida, lived 47 million years ago and is unusually well preserved, missing only five per cent of its skeleton.
The finding was displayed at a press conference at New York’s Natural History Museum overnight.
Organisers said that scientists led by Norway’s fossil expert Professor Jorn Hurum worked for two years on Ida, first discovered in 1983 by private collectors who failed to understand her importance.
The monkey-like creature was preserved through the ages in Germany’s Messel Pit, a crater rich in Eocene Epoch fossils.
Although bearing a long tail, she had several human characteristics, including an opposable thumb, short arms and legs, and forward facing eyes.
“This is the first link to all humans – truly a fossil that links world heritage,” Professor Hurum said in a statement.
David Attenborough, the renowned British naturalist and broadcaster, said the “little creature is going to show us our connection with all the rest of the mammals.”
“The link they would have said until now is missing … it is no longer missing,” he said.