The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor

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Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor: The Link, tells the story of an important scientific development that could tell us more about where we come from.

The fossil, known as Ida, could be an indication of one of the roots of anthropoid evolution — the point at which our primate ancestors began first developing the features that would evolve into our own.

Is David Attenborough set to reveal the Missing Link in human evolution?

The BBC has made an extraordinary new documentary, presented by Sir David Attenborough, which will reveal the discovery of a fossilised skeleton that may be a vital ‘missing link’ in human evolution.

The centrepiece of the programme is the unveiling of the first-ever complete skeleton of an extinct animal called an adapid.

The fossilised bones, which are thought to be between 37 and 47million years old, were found in Germany’s Messel Shale Pit, a disused quarry near Frankfurt famous for its fossils.

The team who examined the young female animal say it has some resemblance to a lemur, a mammal with a distinctive tail that is found to this day in the forests of Madagascar.

But Sir David’s documentary will explain that the researchers have, controversially, concluded the fossil ‘is not simply a lemur’ but from a related group of primates which evolved into monkeys, apes and human beings.

The BBC programme is based on a scientific study to be published by the Public Library of Science, a leading academic journal with offices in Cambridge and San Francisco.

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