Paleontólogos saem em defesa de Ida como elo de transição

quarta-feira, setembro 29, 2010

Published online 29 September 2010 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2010.501


Palaeontologists go to bat for Ida

Primate fossil's promoters defend position against community criticism.

Lucas Laursen

Jørn Hurum unveiling Ida at a news conference in May 2009.
Jennifer Graylock/AFP

A new defence of the fossil Ida as a precursor to today's primates, including humans, has emerged from the research team that last year bought and promoted the 47-million-year-old remains.1

Ida, or Darwinius masillae, was described in 2009 by Jens Franzen at the Research Institute and Natural History Museum of Senckenberg in Frankfurt, Germany, and colleagues, who identified it as a haplorrhine, precursors to modern-day monkeys and apes.2 However, two studies by other groups since then citing evidence from a new fossil and an independent study of similar primate fossils concluded Ida was closer to the strepsirrhine branch, precursors to today's lemurs.3,4 (see 'Fossil primate challenges Ida's place').

"If you say 'I have something in the line of hominids', another palaeontologist will say you are wrong," says palaeontologist John de Vos of the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden, the Netherlands, the author of a 2008 article in the Journal of the History of Biology on scientific disagreements about Neanderthals, Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis.5 But this particular disagreement is smaller than those, de Vos adds, because Ida is much further removed from modern primates and fewer palaeontologists study this area.

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: Nature


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