For 150 years, scientists have debated the course of our evolutionary journey from tree-dwelling primate to modern Homo sapiens. Today, Google joins the debate.The search engine is focussing on evolution’s ‘missing link’, showcasing ‘Ida’ in today’s Google logo. ‘Ida’ is also known as Darwinius masillae, a 47-million-year-old fossil from the Eocene era. Scientists found Ida in Messel Pit, Germany and soon found out that she is about twenty times older than most fossils related to human evolution. What makes Ida so special is that despite her classification as an early prosimian (lemurs), she has certain undeniable human characteristics such as forward facing eyes and even an opposable thumb.
Ida must have been one of our most web-savvy ancestors too, as she managed to get her very own dedicated website, revealingthelink.com. There you can find out what Ida’s world must have looked like, how we got from ‘Ida’ to ‘human’ and the implications for the current evolution theories.Of course, you’re also urged to buy the book.
If you’re not that much into reading, you can still learn about Ida, as she’s starring in ‘Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor’ which airs on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday 26th May.For the USA, ‘the Link, a two-hour event special, airs on Memorial Day Monday May 25th, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT. It is being screened by History across the US.