Ida Out of the Blue

Ida came to us out of the blue — Ida is not of the sky, but of the earth — and she erupted into us from bedrock to reveal the mystery of her fossilized core.

Ida, if you don’t know by now, is our 47 million year old ancestor.

There’s something strikingly familiar about Ida’s skeleton. That’s because, like us, Ida is a primate. She lived around the time that primates split into two major groups. The prosimians are the non-human branch who have survived mainly as modern lemurs. The anthropoids are the other branch – from which humans evolved.

Ida’s skeleton has some early anthropoid traits. These foreshadow physical features which later appear in monkeys, apes, and of course, humans. So although Ida was a primitive primate who lived 47 million years ago, her anatomy has remarkable similarities to our own.

Some who biblically believe the earth is only a few thousand years old will try to brush Ida away as an insignificant outlier — but the rest of us will relish how the news of us peels back into history at a new, evolutionary, rip rate of 47 million years.

Ida leaves no doubt that science and logic and the fossil record are undeniable facts that frame us in history with the same earthly pressure and divine elegance that crushes carbon into diamonds while simultaneously releasing the secreted jewels of our common past like our adorable Ida.