Afradapis and “Ida”, sittin’ in a tree…
The restored lower jaw of Afradapis. From the Nature paper.
This past May a 47 million year old fossil primate named Darwinius masillae, better known as “Ida“, burst onto the public scene. The lemur-like creature was proclaimed to be the “missing link” and the “ancestor of us all”, but the actual science behind Ida was drowned by a tide of media sensationalism. Press releases and documentaries proclaimed that Ida would “CHANGE EVERYTHING“, but despite such promises the sky remained blue, my cats continued to wake me up at 5:30 AM, and the primate evolutionary tree did not suddenly restructure itself.
So what was Darwinius? According to the descriptive paper published in PLoS One, Darwinius