47 Million Yr Old Transitional Primate Fossil Found

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by gaia227, May 19, 2009.

  1. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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  3. Cypros

    Cypros New Member

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    This is the COOLEST !! That some of the flesh and organs are preserved is a major contribution to the science. There have not been too many primate fossils found in Europe and so this is an important find for that region as well. VERY BIG.
     
  4. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Evolution? Primate roots?

    Does this mean I'm not special?! :eek:
     
  5. smart blonde

    smart blonde Websleuths Member

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    Just the opposite, my dear Nova!

    It means we will be able to discover just how special you are!:woohoo:
     
  6. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    Yes! The fact this was found in Germany instead of Africa was a shock. It has long been thought that our roots are in Africa and then to find this fossil in Germany throws a wrench into that. If Ida actually IS the missing link that connects the two strains of primates that broke off then how did later homonids get to Africa? The possibilities are numerous. There were the findings that were just released about the 'hobbit' people found off the coast of Indonesia that they were an entirely different species of early human that came from a species that has yet to be discovered. Ida may help show that early on there were more species of primitive humans than we thought.

    Thank you guys for posting! It is nice to know that everyone doesn't think this is just crazy-talk.
     
  7. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    Ah, exactly! :blowkiss:
     
  8. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Well, in that case, OK!

    :blowkiss:

    But my Jewish friends aren't going to be happy to hear we're all descended from some German!
     
  9. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    Tonight on the History Channel the premiere of The Link is on at 9:00est. It is all about this discovery and what it means. I am sure they will be replaying it throughout the month so keep your eyes out for if you're interested. My computer is acting funky or else I would look up when it is going to air again. Tomorrow I will from my work computer.
     
  10. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    This is indeed an amazing discovery.

    We are much older than we thought!!!
     
  11. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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  12. Cypros

    Cypros New Member

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    Oh, I don't think this has any affect on the African origins of homonids. This fossil is 47 million years old and the earliest hominids are only 3-4 million years old. There are enough fossils in Africa in the interim to show that hominids evolved in Africa. The European location of this fossil is mostly interesting, IMO, because the preservation condition are generally not so good and there are not so many primate remains in that region. I am interested in learning what condition led to the preservation of the fleshy parts of the body.
     
  13. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    So you want us to believe the "Missing Link" (or rather, her sister, since the ML herself doesn't appear to be a direct ancestor) walked to Africa? In only 43 million years? Sheesh!

    Seriously, you're right, of course: this discovery doesn't preclude hominids originating in Africa.

    But current theory of African origination is based on relatively few fossils. And the Hobbits found on Flores apparently did not descend from Homo Erectus, the hominid previously believed to be the one who made it "out of Africa" and into Asia.

    So at the very least, the recent discoveries might cause us to question to the tendancy of a few scientists and LOTS of journalists to construct a Grand Prehistorical Narrative after each new find.
     
  14. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    Yeah, I'll give you that. I think I was little over-excited about it the other day and wasn't really thinking big picture.

    Ida was found in the Messel Pits in Germany. The Messel Pits have been a haunt for fossil hunters for a long time because of the abundance of Eocine era well-preserved fossils.

    This link below talks about why these animals were so well perserved.
    The lake was formed by a crater filling up with rain water so there were no rivers or lakes draining into and it became very deep and still and the water contained very little oxygen and little bacteria.

    When Ida died she ended up in the lake, sunk to the bottom and settled into the ooze of mud along the bottom.

    http://www.revealingthelink.com/the-discovery/messel-pit
     
  15. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1927200-1,00.html

    In a series of studies published in the Oct. 2 special issue of Science — 11 papers by a total of 47 authors from 10 countries — researchers unveiled Ardi, a 125-piece hominid skeleton that is 1.2 million years older than the celebrated Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) and by far the oldest one ever found. Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley, a co-leader of the Middle Awash research team that discovered and studied the new fossils, says, "To understand the biology, the parts you really want are the skull and teeth, the pelvis, the limbs and the hands and the feet. And we have all of them."


    much more at link...very interesting
     
  16. Cypros

    Cypros New Member

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    This is so cool. We had just covered Ardipithecus in class last Monday and then this report came out. The students were so excited to see a big news report that was directly related to what they were learning in class. They understood the significance of some of the characteristics of "Ardi" (namely bipedalism in a forested environment) and were able to knowledgeably discuss the ramifications of this finding in a way they could not have done just a few weeks ago. I love it when you can see the lights suddenly flash on behind their eyes!:idea:
     
  17. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    Thanks for posting Angelmom! I had considering on starting a thread about Ardi. He is now the oldest homonid fossil replacing Lucy. The fact he has opposable toes is interesting and obviously lends itself toward believing that he spent most of this time in trees and only walked short distances upright.

    Speaking of Lucy - she is on 'tour' right now for the first time. She had never been allowed to leave Ethopia before and I got to see the Lucy exhibit in NYC a few months ago and see the real Lucy which was pretty cool.
     
  18. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    Do you teach Anthropology Cypros? My mom does and her students for the most part think she is nuts and act pretty uninterested. She has had more than one student go to the dean to complain about the fact she is talking about the evolution of man in her class. One guy filed a complaint because he insisted to her that dinosaurs were still walking the face of this planet as late as 1900's and of course she told him that was ridiculous but he didn't believe her........:banghead:
     
  19. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Yikes! :eek:

    My grandparents were born at the beginning of the 1900s and it used to annoy them when younger people assumed they must have spent their childhoods fighting off the Indians. Hell, they thought I was an idiot for asking if they rode the bicycles with the giant, front wheels!

    I can't imagine what they would have said had they been asked if they kept dinosaurs for pets.

    We must get the word out in this country that while one has a right to believe nonsense, it isn't a virtue.
     
  20. Cypros

    Cypros New Member

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    Hi gaia. Yes, I teach anthropology. I am an archaeologist but my first love in anthropology was a course on physical anthropology. I love teaching this course and I am pleased with the response from the students, especially since most come from a rural, relatively conservative background. At the beginning of the class I make it clear that we will be covering human evolution and, having CHOSEN to take the class, the students are required to do the work and show an understanding of the fossil record and what anthropology has to say about human origins. If any student has an ideology that may prevent them from completing the work they should chose another class. A few students will drop. Some of the students who complete the course are Creationist or followers of Intelligent Design but in 8 years none has ever made a complaint or tried to use their personal beliefs as an excuse not to learn or do the course material since they understand that this is a fundamental of anthropology from the start (although I have one student this semester who I suspect may try to pull the religion card, but he is a flake in his other classes -- professors talk! -- so it won't work).

    It makes no difference to me what a student's religious beliefs are since each and every one of us makes our own decision about how to integrate science and faith as it suits our individual needs. I know that each student will take what they learn from the course and accept or reject all or part of it. At least they will be well-informed and not go through life making ignorant statements like "Evolutionists claim that we evolved from chimpanzees." or "If evolution is real then how do you explain the eye?" or, my favorite, "Evolution is just a theory." :banghead: Such statements are clear indicators that the person has no comprehension of the evolution process or scientific method.

    Does your mom teach in Kansas? or Texas maybe? They have that funny museum showing humans coexisting with dinosaurs. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Cypros

    Cypros New Member

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    Dinosaurs in the 1900s. Wow! I wonder what websites he has been reading in place of his science textbooks? Or maybe he saw Jurassic Park and thought it was a documentary?
     

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