- Education and Science»
- Life Sciences
Exaggerated emphasis by media on Darwinius Masillae
Why I have titled this hub, as "Exaggerated emphasis by media on Darwinius Masillae" is a question I have answered below but understanding what and who is Darwinius Masillae, please read on:
Who is Darwinius Masillae?
Darwinius Masillae is fossil of a creature found buried deep in the Messel pit near Messel village which is around 35 km (22 miles) SE of Frankfurt Main. This fossil creature has been named Ida and is a female as the name suggests by the scientists. Ida was not a fully-grown young as her fossil contains a mix of adult and baby teeth, suggesting that she was transitioning from a baby to young adult. Ida has been found intact in her death position. Scientists have revealed that the last meal she had taken consisted of seed, leaves, and fruits because the contents of her stomach and gut have also been found intact. Scientists are also able to calculate her muscle size because some remnants of her skin and fur have been found outlining her body.
Ida does not have claws but has hands just like human beings have with fingers and thumbs. She also has arms, which are flexible with short upper and lower extremities. Lack of penis bone in Ida has confirmed that she was a female. Investigational studies for example x-rays have confirmed that she had a wrist fracture at the time of her death. Some scientists are of the theory that acidic gases and fumes erupting out of volcanic lava may have caused her death.
Real facts on recovery of Ida's fossil It is interesting to note that fossil of Ida was not recovered on May 19th, 2009 but she was found in 1983. The fossil of this creature was divided into two pieces and was sold away until it was gathered again and assembled in the year 2007.
Many years later when University of Oslo purchased this 95 percent-intact fossil from an anonymous source, paleontologist Jorn Hurum studied this secretly for around 2 years and came up with the real conclusion.
Some scientists resemble it to lemur, monkeys, and apes confirming the Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The most interesting thing about this fossil is that it has been buried and preserved in this state for the last 47 million years.
Scientists think that Ida was buried inside the volcanic debris and therefore was preserved with many other animals from Eocene Period Of History, so it has been calculated that Ida belongs to the period when global warming was of severe intensity, not like today, but really extreme that it made the Arctic ocean hot enough to be over-grown with vegetation. It was the period when the birth of modern mammals took place. Continents continued to move and drift at that time.
Our Primate Cousins
Is Ida really the missing link between apes and humans or it is only exaggerated emphasis by media? Let's find out
Apes have evolved since their common-ancestor up until today as evidenced by orangutan, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. All this variation shares one common ancestor from the past and definitely evolved since then to our present form but I do not think that Ida is the only missing link between apes and humans but I would say that Ida or Darwinius Masillae is just one single link between apes and us. There might be many other links too.
Rather I would say that Ida (Darwinius masilla) is single beautiful specimen of long extinct primate species. Ida is very important and interesting for us because she is the clue to the missing transitional form of that time. From today morning when I logged on to my system and opened google homepage, I found this missing link
I opened it up and was surprised to know the details. After reading many articles and news stories and other things, I was really surprised to see what is going on. Some scientists have been calling Ida as a "Missing Link", some "Holy Grail of Human Evolution", and some "the 8th Wonder of the World". After two or three hours of my reading the details, I was of the opinion that this is nothing but frantic media coverage, as it has not been the first time that some fossil has been found lying underneath the earth but it has happened several times in the past. I would say that Darwinius Masillae could be a single indisputable bridge between ancient age and modern age species when scientists are not able to find out more species like her, but tagging this recent discovery by Jorn Hurum, the Paleontologist, to human evolution would be really wrong.
I think that journalists have used exaggerated emphasis while writing on Ida. She cannot be termed as the "Monalisa of Ancient Creatures" and is not a discovery that will change everything but has its own significance and importance. I am of the feeling that media from now on will publish every new fossil discovered like the way Ida is published.
By the end of this day "May 20, 2009", I am of the view that the word "Darwinius Masillae" will be the hottest topic for this month and upcoming months on Google, Yahoo and all search engines in the world.
I think in this way because when I searched for these words "Darwinius Masillae" on google at around 2 P.M. IST, I found around 7820 results of links, after around one hour it increased to 9000 or something, now at 8 P.M. IST, it is around Results 1 - 10 of about 11,800 for Darwinius Masillae in (0.23 seconds). It has been increasing at a relatively high speed as I think many journalists and bloggers are writing on this topic today itself and will be writing for this month and another.
On May 21, 2009 I searched the words "Darwinius Masillae" again and saw first link published at google on second missing link named "wida" which later appeared to be a spoof and fake news. Here is the link to the fake news published by spoof.com: Wida The Second Missing Link After Ida
I would like to let my hub readers know that there has been no second missing link like Darwinius Masillae that has been discovered up until now.
On May 22, 2009, I searched on google "Darwinius Masillae" again and found the Results 1 - 10 of about 69,400 for darwinius masillae.in (0.30 seconds) suggesting tremendous increase in content written and published on this new discovery. There has been one more finding that as Darwinius Masillae is a new discovery, it will take time for search engines to not show Did you mean: darwinia maxillae, as darwinia maxillae comes up with every search done on the words "Darwinius Masillae".
Reveal the real truth behind media coverage of Darwinius Masillae
- Darwinius masillae - The Panda\'s Thumb
- Darwinius masillae : Pharyngula
- PLoS ONE: Complete Primate Skeleton from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany: Morphology and Pale
PLoS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
- Ida: Superstar fossil or superstar hype? - Short Sharp Science - New Scientist