, Volume 92, Issue 4, pp 397-402
Date: 25 Oct 2012

“Messel and the terrestrial Eocene” – Proceedings of the 22nd Senckenberg Conference

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Ida, …

In May 2009, a new fossil entered the history books: "Ida", a.k.a. Darwinius masillae, the most complete fossil primate ever found (Franzen et al. 2009). All around the world, from secluded palaeontology laboratories to the mass-frequented internet, this little female had tongues wagging vehemently about our own origin. Indeed, whereas everybody agrees that "Ida" belongs to the adapiforms (an extinct group of primates traditionally allied with lemurs), Franzen et al. (2009) claim that, based on features displayed by "Ida", the whole Adapiform clade should be allied with Haplorhini (tarsiiforms, monkeys and apes). Detractors of this hypothesis would question the significance of the characters chosen by Franzen et al. (2009), or even their interpretation, and put forth other morphological characters as well as other fossil primates as arguments against a relationship between haplorhines and adapiforms. Determinedly, these critics argue that more features support the widely held hyp ...

This article is a contribution to the special issue “Messel and the terrestrial Eocene - Proceedings of the 22nd Senckenberg Conference”