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homanm
05-23-2009, 04:27 AM
A fossil discovered in Germany has the potential to change the way we look at our own evolutionary pattern, its discoverers say. The 47-million-year-old “missing link” is about 20 times older than any of the other preserved remains of our ancestors, and it's also 95 percent complete, which means that anthropologists and archaeologists have a lot of material to work on. The “transactional” animal, named Ida, bears resemblance to non-human evolutionary lines, such as that of prosimians, but also to anthropoids such as monkeys, apes and humans, ScienceDaily reports. The ancient fossil, dating back from the Eocene age (56 to 34 million years ago), was found in the Messel Pit, Germany.

Over the last two years since the animal was found, an international team of scientists has been secretly conducting a very complex series of analyses on Ida, aiming to determine exactly how the species is related to us, or, better yet, what traits we share with the ancient fossil. The effort was led by Dr. Jørn Hurum from the University of Oslo Natural History Museum. The investigator is famous worldwide for his efforts in studying similar finds. “This is the first link to all humans (...) truly a fossil that links world heritage,” he said of the find.

Philip Gingerich, a professor at the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, told that, “It’s really a kind of Rosetta Stone.” He is also one of the co-authors of a new study detailing the results of the investigation, which was recently published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, released by the Public Library of Science. The paper also backtracks the road the fossils made around the world since they were first discovered, around 1983. It seems like the “archaeologists” who discovered it split the sample in two, and sold it to different buyers, from the US and Norway.

The PLoS ONE paper was the first one detailing results obtained from studying the full specimen, the researchers added. The creature had opposable thumbs even at that early age, and also large nails at the tip of its fingers. These two traits link it to primates, while a foot bone called the talus bone links it directly to humans. Because of the unique conditions in which the animal was trapped in the deposit after it died, its body outline and guts contained also remained preserved. Anthropologists determined that Ida was a herbivorous animal, feasting on seeds, fruits and other such foods before its death.

According to the researchers, Ida may have died while trying to drink some water from the volcanic lake at the Messel Pit. She already had a broken arm, which was barely healing, and must have fallen unconscious due to the carbon dioxide gas that was coming out of the forming lake. The experts hypothesize that she must have fallen into the lake, and then to the lake floor, where unique conditions kept her preserved for 47 million years.

source : http://news.softpedia.com/news/Fossil-Ancestor-of-Humans-and-Primates-Is-47-Million-Years-Old-112019.shtml
( You Can find more about it in google and ... :D )

Mal
05-25-2009, 11:22 AM
A fossil discovered in Germany has the potential to change the way we look at our own evolutionary pattern, its discoverers say. The 47-million-year-old “missing link” is about 20 times older than any of the other preserved remains of our ancestors, and it's also 95 percent complete, which means that anthropologists and archaeologists have a lot of material to work on. The “transactional” animal, named Ida, bears resemblance to non-human evolutionary lines, such as that of prosimians, but also to anthropoids such as monkeys, apes and humans, ScienceDaily reports. The ancient fossil, dating back from the Eocene age (56 to 34 million years ago), was found in the Messel Pit, Germany.Their first reaction is to possibly change the model of human evolution, but they don't think maybe there's something wrong with their dating method?

Can anyone find what method they used? I've been unable to.

Kina
05-25-2009, 11:27 AM
I would assume carbon dating, but I'm not much of an archeologist.

Tzu Men
05-25-2009, 12:10 PM
With fossils you usually do it by sediment layers and yeah I think they can also use carbon dating to make it more exact (they can use half-lives of some other elements and molecules if need be). They can also look at the food they x-rayed in the critters stomach to estimate at what period it existed in. It's not that complex, generally the deeper down in layers the older something will be lol. They're open to some error now and again, but in terms of evolution over millions of years its difficult for them to screw up that badly.

The fossils interesting but the media's emphasis of a possible human link is shit, everyone they've interviewed has said it's unlikely to be that closely related to human ancestry.

Mal
05-25-2009, 12:47 PM
Everyone you've interviewed? Was that for work, school or what?

Tzu Men
05-25-2009, 12:53 PM
Everyone you've interviewed? Was that for work, school or what?
Just know it from school/being a twat, probably will get to learn more about it if I get into my uni/college course.

Mal
05-25-2009, 01:53 PM
Badass. Good luck getting into the course.

(tl;dr) So in review, and to get back on topic: Fossils are cool, but the importance of this one is being over-hyped by the media.

emachina
05-26-2009, 07:45 AM
Only thing I'm going to say about this, is it's fishy. The scientists studied it, "in secret" for two years. There's a huge media blitz regarding it. It simply reminds me of the "discovery" of Bigfoot a few years back, the "discovery" of Life on Mars back in the 90's, and the "discovery" of Cold Fusion back in the 80's. I could very much be wrong. And if I am, I will be more than happy to admit it. But I just have this feeling that this "missing link" is going to turn out to be an exaggerated claim made by those scientist so they could make a name for themselves or cash in on a scam.

UchihaTaijiya
05-26-2009, 10:49 AM
Either way it's neat. Always love reading about new fossils or ancient fish found and shit (like in Japan) lol.

It reminds me of something I watched on TV about a fossil found where it had a spinal cord similar to ours (except it stood only 3 to 4 ft in height and was found in Africa), and I'm wondering if this is related to it... I dunno, have to look it up I suppose.

manta
05-26-2009, 11:46 AM
A 47 million year old stupid monkey that died because he was retarded. A human monkey would be like nigga get out of there that water ain't no good.

UchihaTaijiya
05-26-2009, 01:39 PM
^ Dude, people around the world still die from dirty water. lulz.

manta
05-26-2009, 03:01 PM
Well shake my balls and make me a milkshake, now I get it why its the missing link we are stupid since 47 million years ago.

Ninja48
05-26-2009, 06:49 PM
The fossils interesting but the media's emphasis of a possible human link is shit, everyone they've interviewed has said it's unlikely to be that closely related to human ancestry.

Pretty much. It's good for what's considered primate evolution, though. Hype makes it sound like it's the connection between apes and humans when it's more like the connection between lemurs and primates. Or something like that. But how complete the fossil is means it's awesome for comparison purposes to any future discovered fossil. It's a significant discovery for people who study the shit out of fossils.

The journal is here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0005723
Good blog about this stuff is here: http://blogs.ngm.com/blog_central/2009/05/darwinius-and-the-real-missing-link.html


And Mal, science has incredible dating methods. Science has such a thorough understanding of molecules that their accuracy in studying them is completely maximized. Scientists will know to the most possible exact degree how old something is, and will also know exactly how inaccurate they are and establish a margin of error.

Tzu Men
05-26-2009, 07:42 PM
Only thing I'm going to say about this, is it's fishy. The scientists studied it, "in secret" for two years. There's a huge media blitz regarding it. It simply reminds me of the "discovery" of Bigfoot a few years back, the "discovery" of Life on Mars back in the 90's, and the "discovery" of Cold Fusion back in the 80's. I could very much be wrong. And if I am, I will be more than happy to admit it. But I just have this feeling that this "missing link" is going to turn out to be an exaggerated claim made by those scientist so they could make a name for themselves or cash in on a scam.
They didn't bring it to public attention for 2 years so that they could carry out research on the fossil and come to sound conclusions based on investigation, that's what scientists are meant to do.

It's as 'fishy' as lucy, and archaeopteryx specimens lol.

Pretty much. It's good for what's considered primate evolution, though. Hype makes it sound like it's the connection between apes and humans when it's more like the connection between lemurs and primates. Or something like that. But how complete the fossil is means it's awesome for comparison purposes to any future discovered fossil. It's a significant discovery for people who study the shit out of fossils.

The journal is here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0005723
Good blog about this stuff is here: http://blogs.ngm.com/blog_central/2009/05/darwinius-and-the-real-missing-link.html.
I know, I was trying to be brief after going into too much detail about dating methods in that post - I do consider it more than just, "interesting." Anyway Attenborough told me all about this evening but thank you for those links.

rokudaime_hokage
05-27-2009, 01:43 AM
this is silly we all know we came from adam and eve.... =/

emachina
05-27-2009, 12:28 PM
They didn't bring it to public attention for 2 years so that they could carry out research on the fossil and come to sound conclusions based on investigation, that's what scientists are meant to do.

It's as 'fishy' as lucy, and archaeopteryx specimens lol.


I understand not bringing it to public attention because they were researching it. It's the "in secret" part that makes me wonder. And last I heard Lucy, while an interesting fossil find, was disproven to be linked to humans as was once claimed. Could be wrong about Lucy, but I've read papers dissenting that Lucy was a hominid, but was in fact a separate species.

Ninja48
05-27-2009, 10:36 PM
What are they going to do in secret anyway? Fake the fossil with their super evil science powers?

emachina
05-30-2009, 01:54 PM
What are they going to do in secret anyway? Fake the fossil with their super evil science powers?

Super evil science powers? lol. Not likely. But I wouldn't put it past publicity seekers to flub tests or dispose of results that don't lead to the conclusions they wanted, all in an effort to make the fossil seem older or more important than it really is. We'll just wait and see and let scientific journals review their findings. Until that happens, these scientists are enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame.

Matthekage
05-30-2009, 02:59 PM
I wouldn't put it past publicity seekers to flub tests or dispose of results that don't lead to the conclusions they wanted, all in an effort to make the Bible seem older or more important than it really is Just another victory for science and another nail in the creationists coffin.

Science rocks!

GOGOGO!

Miburo
05-30-2009, 05:09 PM
Super evil science powers? lol. Not likely. But I wouldn't put it past publicity seekers to flub tests or dispose of results that don't lead to the conclusions they wanted, all in an effort to make the fossil seem older or more important than it really is. We'll just wait and see and let scientific journals review their findings. Until that happens, these scientists are enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame.

Highly unlikely, since they'd be found out pretty quickly due to the whole peer review thing. Which would ruin their careers and make them a complete joke, at best.

It's much more likely that they were spending that time making as damn sure as possible that they were right before saying anything about it, to avoid making fools of themselves.

emachina
05-30-2009, 06:30 PM
Highly unlikely, since they'd be found out pretty quickly due to the whole peer review thing. Which would ruin their careers and make them a complete joke, at best.

It's much more likely that they were spending that time making as damn sure as possible that they were right before saying anything about it, to avoid making fools of themselves.

Very possible, very, very possible they poured over their notes, doted their i's and crossed their t's. I'm probably just more jaded than you all. As I gave in my examples, I remember when scientists "discovered" cold fusion. Much like these scientists, they became instant celebrities. Cashed in a bit. Enjoy their fame. Until...it was found out their experiments couldn't be duplicated.

I'm not saying these scientists are publicity seekers. But articles I've read say the media blitz they used to showcase their findings was highly unusual. That sets off my skepticism alarm. These guys could very well have all the verifiable proof they'll ever need, they feel they need some publicity to get the word out they found such an important scientific discovery, and I'm just the joker on the sidelines trying to piss on their parade. If that's the case, more power to them. I'll eat crow and flat out admit I was wrong about their intentions.

But scientific review moves slowly, slowly enough that they could cash in, do the tv talk show circuit, make a bunch of money, before the rest of scientific community could say "Wait, nope, you're findings are wrong". Has happened before, could be happening now. Just saying cause I've seen it before.

Just another victory for science and another nail in the creationists coffin.

Science rocks!

GOGOGO!

Yawn. If you're going to accuse me of being a bible thumper, at least have the balls to flat out say it. Don't go back, edit my post, and they use some retarded cheer. I didn't bring religion into this, because quite frankly, if this is 100% valid it doesn't affect my beliefs in the slightest. In fact, all I've said about this whole deal is that these scientists could be using this to make money and gain publicity. So fuck you and go jerk off to Dawkins. Kay.

kluang
05-30-2009, 06:47 PM
Scientist just tools for the Illuminati

emachina
05-30-2009, 06:48 PM
Scientist just tools for the Illuminati

Oh God, That made me laugh. Paul 2012! :D

Miburo
05-30-2009, 07:09 PM
You also have to take into account the media bias that goes along with this kind of shit. There is a pretty huge bias from the religious against anything evolution related. "Secret studying" could simply mean "studying" with a negative twist to make it purposely sound shady. Researching and working on shit years before publicly announcing anything about it isn't uncommon or shady, after all.

There really isn't any reason to be skeptical about anything just yet. While it's a neat discovery, it isn't that awesome. So it really doesn't matter. If it ends up being "fake" or whatever, then we'll find out soon enough.

Miburo
05-30-2009, 07:20 PM
Post the cliff note version, plz.

emachina
05-30-2009, 09:06 PM
You also have to take into account the media bias that goes along with this kind of shit. There is a pretty huge bias from the religious against anything evolution related. "Secret studying" could simply mean "studying" with a negative twist to make it purposely sound shady. Researching and working on shit years before publicly announcing anything about it isn't uncommon or shady, after all.

There really isn't any reason to be skeptical about anything just yet. While it's a neat discovery, it isn't that awesome. So it really doesn't matter. If it ends up being "fake" or whatever, then we'll find out soon enough.

Agreed. We'll see where this discovery lands in a few months or so. Truth be told, I hope it is real. Massive discoveries like this are few and far between. I tend to gravitate towards spacial discoveries now, because it seems like all the really massive stuff has already been discovered here on Earth.

And, well, just yesterday scientists released details on a moderate sized black hole they're observing. Eats up more mass than two Earth's every second, if I remember correctly. While cool as hell, it's something I'll never live to see first hand. At least with this fossil, I maybe able to look at it someday.