Read الحلقة المفقودة: الكشف عن الأصل البشري الأول by Colin Tudge مروة هاشم Online

الحلقة المفقودة: الكشف عن الأصل البشري الأول

في قبو يخضع لحماية أمنية مكثفة، يقع في قلب أحد أكبر متاحف التاريخ الطبيعي في العالم، يرقد اكتشاف علمي لا يتكرر، فثمة حفرية مثالية لإحدى الرئيسات الأولى، أقدم حتى من «لوسي»، الحفرية الأكثر شهرة فيما سبق بأربعة وأربعين مليون عام.وحفرية «إيدا» التي لم تزل سراً حتى الآن، تُعد أكثر حفريات الرئيسات الأولى اكتمالاً. و يقدم لنا كتاب «الحلقة المفقودة» تحقيقاً شاملاً عن «إيدا» والأصفي قبو يخضع لحماية أمنية مكثفة، يقع في قلب أحد أكبر متاحف التاريخ الطبيعي في العالم، يرقد اكتشاف علمي لا يتكرر، فثمة حفرية مثالية لإحدى الرئيسات الأولى، أقدم حتى من «لوسي»، الحفرية الأكثر شهرة فيما سبق بأربعة وأربعين مليون عام.وحفرية «إيدا» التي لم تزل سراً حتى الآن، تُعد أكثر حفريات الرئيسات الأولى اكتمالاً. و يقدم لنا كتاب «الحلقة المفقودة» تحقيقاً شاملاً عن «إيدا» والأصول الأولى للبشرية، فضلاً عن القصة العلمية البوليسية الرائعة التي أعقبت اكتشاف «إيدا». وفي الوقت ذاته، يفتح لنا هذا الكتاب شرفة ثرية ومذهلة على الماضي الإنساني السحيق، ويغير من ثم ما نعرفه عن تطور الرئيسات، والبشر في نهاية المطاف....

Title : الحلقة المفقودة: الكشف عن الأصل البشري الأول
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789948018315
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

الحلقة المفقودة: الكشف عن الأصل البشري الأول Reviews

  • Sarah ~
    2018-11-18 05:50

    يبدأ هذا الكتاب المميز بعالم يُعرض عليه شراء أحفورة من قبل وسيط وبائع لا يريد الكشف عن هويته ..بداية مشوقة بالنسبة لكتاب دسم .. في الصفحات المئة الأولى لم استطع أن أضع الكتاب من يدي . .. عثر على أحفورة - مستحاثة كاملة في حفرة ميسيل بـ ألمانيا عرفت لاحقا باسم آيدا ..وتعد الأحفورة الوحيدة المكتملة من الرئيسيات التي تمَ اكتشافها عبر العصور ..عثر على الأحفورة بواسطة أحد الهواة عام 1983 في محمية (ميسيل بيت) المدرجة على قائمة التراث العالمي وهي كهف حجري مهجور جنوب شرقي فرانكفورت حيث عثر على العديد من الحفريات. وبقيت ايدا ضمن مجموعة خاصة حتى عرضت للبيع على جون هوروم والذي اشتراها لصالح جامعة اوسلو عام 2006.عاشت الأحفورة التي ستغير الكثير في فهمنا لعالمنا والمخلوقات التي تعيش عليه ..في بداية العصر الإيوسيني ..العصر الإيوسيني كانَ قبل أكثر من 56 مليون سنة ..كان العالم الإستكلندي السير تشارلز ليل أول من عرف العصر الجيولوجي الثالث - 1833 - بوصفه الفترة التي أعقبت زوال الديناصورات وقسمها إلى أربعة أقسام أولها الإيوسين .. اشتقت كلمة ايوسيني من الكلمتين اليونانيتين (eos) وتعني فجر و(kainos) وتعني حديث ..الايوسين هو أول حياة جديدة -أي الموجة الأولى من الكائنات بعد زمن الزواحف الضخمة ..تبدو كثير من الأشياء مألوفة من النباتات والحيوانات التي تشبه بعضها الحيوانات الحالية وبعضها الآخر لا يشبهها البته ..تميز العصر الإيوسيني بارتفاع درجات الحرارة نتيجة انفجار مخزونات الميثان الموجودة في قاع المحيط مما غير كثيراً من صورة الحياة على كوكبنا ..مَثَلَ ذلك العصر العصر الذهبي للرئيسيات وأغلبها هي الثدييات الحالية ..حفرة ميسيل ..حفرة بركانية والتي شكلت بنيتها التكوينية مع الكثير من الظروف الإستثنائية بيئة مناسبة لحفظ الكثير من المخلوقات بصورة مثالية ..اكتشفت في القرن الثامن عشر شكلت موقعا مهما للصخور الزيتية التي كانت مهمة حينها لأجل الصناعة ..وفي عام 1875 اكتشفت أول أحفورة وهي مكونة من 150 قطعة عظمية تضم أجزاء من فك تمساح ..في أواحر القرن التاسع عشر تحولت حفرة ميسيل لمنجم ..وعرفت بمنجم حفرة ميسيل المفتوح ..وحينها وجدت الكثير من الحفريات وإن واجهت العلماء صعوبات في استخراجها ..في عام 1971 توقف التعدين في الحفرة وأصبح الطريق مفتوحا لإكتشاافات علمية ممهداً وجاداً ..وحينها قررت حكومة الولاية تحويل الحفرة غلى موقع لجمع القمامة ..مما أدى إلى اعتراضات من المواطنين والعلماء ..ولعشرين عاما قادمة ظلت تلك الخطط قائمة ..حتى العام 1987 أصدرت المحاكم بالغاء قرار تحويل الحفرة إلى حفرة للنفايات ..وفي عام 1991 اشترت ولاية هيسين حفرة ميسل مقال 32 مليون مارك الماني .. واعلنتها موقعا للتراث الطبيعي والثقافي .. بعدها بعام اتفقت الولاية ومعهد زنكلبيرغ ان أي احفورة من نوع جديد وغير معروف يجب ان تظل في حيازة المعهد أو متحف دامشتات المحلي والتابع للولاية .. وفي عام 1995 ضمت حفرة ميسيل إلى قائمة التراث العالمي لليونيسكو .. موقع طبيعي ثقافي .. ويمثل أهمية لمصلحة البشرية جميعا ..أحفورة أيدا /آيدا كانت كائنا صغيراً لها ساقان اطول قليلا من ذراعيها مما ساعدها على تسلق الأشجار وكانت آيدا من آكلات الفاكهة والنبات .. وعاشت في غابة مطيرة قريبة من حفرة ميسيل وقد تكون ماتت نتيجة لإستنشاقها غاز ثاني اكسيد الكربون المنبعث من الحفرة بكميات قاتلة . وسقطت في الحفرة حيث حفظت لملايين السنين بشكل جيد حتى تم اكتشافها ..تعد أحفورة أيد الوحيدة من نوعها - سلالتها، التي سقطت في حفرة ميسيل حيث لم يجد العلماء حتى اليوم حفرية أخرى تشابهها ..يشرح الفصل الأخير ما ايدا وماذا تكون ..أين عاشت وكيف ؟وأخيراً كيف ماتت ..أرى أنَ آيدا محظوظة ، فهي لاقت كل هذا الإهتمام ، نخبة من العلماء عملوا على المشروع ، تم تأليف كتاب عنها وتصوير فيلم وثائقي أيضاً ...في الأجزاء الأولى يستغرق الكتاب في وصف أنواع الرئيسيات ومدى صعوبة بقاءها لتكون فيما بعد أحافير .. بالتأكيد لا أؤمن بأن لكل الرئيسيات أسلاف مشتركون - الرئيسيات تختلف كثيرا حتى فيما بينها وإن كانت تلك الإختلافات كبيرة أو غاية في الصغر فهي سواء بالنسبة إلي .. مما يجعلها وبلا شك كائنات مختلفة عن بعضها البعض ، من وجهة نظري على الأقل ..الكتاب مليء في كل سطر من سطوره معلومات قيمة ..قد نتفق ونختلف في تفسير هذه المعلومات ولكنها في النهاية معلومات قيمة ..علم مبني على حقائق واثباتات ..ما أعجبني بالكتاب كثيراً هو المعلومات الكثيرة التي يشملها ـ والتفسيرات الغارقةالتفاصيل مثلا مناقشة نظريات هجرة الحيوانات من موطنها الأصلي واستقرارها في المواطن الطبيعية التي تعيش بها اليوم وكيف انتقلت بالهجرة لباقي القارات وذلك عبر تتبع طرق هجرتها - الفيلة مثلا موطنها الأصلي كان قارة امريكا الشمالية ، الأسود لم تذهب أبداً أمريكا الجنوبية ..كما في التاريخ - الذي يكتبه المنتصر دائما ، لتكونَ في النهاية رؤيته هي الرائجة ..فإن مقولة ( البقاء للأقوى ) تنطبق أيضاً على العلم ، لأن العلماء الأوربيون والأمريكيون هم من يسيطرون على هذه العلوم ، من العصور الجيولوجية ، إلى أين عاش الانسان أولاً ، قبل أن ينتقل للعيش على جميع القارات .هذه العلوم تنقل وجهات نظرهم وتهمش كثير من النظريات لأنها لا تروق لأهواء بعض العلماء ، ويبدأونَ أيضاً بنشر نظريتهم الخاصة التي استنتجوها بناء على أفكارهم هذه والتي قد تكون صحيحة والإحتمال الأكبر ألا تكون .. وهو شيء يؤكد عليه المؤلف ..يظل علم الأحافير علما يتغير يوميا ..ولـ لأسباب كثيرة منها الاكتشافات الجديدة والتي تحتاج لأوقات طويلة ليتم اثباتها ..حيث تتضح لنا صعوبة التأكد من اغلب النظريات فـ كل شيء في النهاية محتمل ..الكثير من الأسلاف والسلالات و لا ننسى العصور الجيولوجية المختلفة -وتأثيرها الشديد ..وأيضا المواد المكتشفة فأحيانا يتم بناء نظريات كاملة بعد ايجاد عضو واحد ( فك كائن ما - مثلا ) وقد تتشابه هذه الأعضاء ولكائنات كثيرة .. مما يجعل احتمالات الخطأ واردة ..ولا ننسى الكثير من الحلقات المفقودة ..أخيراً هذه العلوم جذابة جدا - فقط عن بعد ، ما أن نقترب منه حتى يفقد بريقة ويتبين لنا مدى هشاشته فهو في كثير من الأحيان قائم على نظريات قد لا تجد فرصة لاثباتها .. .. ما وردَ في هذه المراجعة هي اراء واستنتاجات شخصية ..والبعض الآخر هو خلاصات لبعض ما ورد في الكتاب ..

  • Craig
    2018-11-15 00:57

    First, the negatives: 90% of this book consists of slopped-together summaries of what is already known about paleoprimatology, and most of the other 10% reads like a repetitive blog entry about the lives of these noble scientists as they embark on their mission to study this fossil skeleton. Actual information about Ida is sorely lacking, and what little there is seems to be designed mainly to exaggerate the importance of this find, with a common tactic being to denigrate other fossil specimens in order to artificially increase the seeming importance of this one. Lucy is criticized for not being as obviously on the human line when the exact opposite is true, and "missing links" in general are made to seem extremely rare in order to emphasize how amazing this find is. The only other "missing link" the author will even acknowledge is Archaeopteryx, making it seem as if that's the only other one ever found.Regardless of the terrible problems with insisting on using such a silly and inaccurate term as "missing link," pretending that others don't exist is supremely bad form. Of course the bigger problem behind all of this hype is that by their own criteria, it is not at all clear that Ida is indeed a missing link of any sort. Recent research by Chris Beard at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh shows that Ida is most likely a member of Notharctidae, a well-studied family of primitive lemurs. Most other experts, including Paleogene primatology pioneer Elwyn Simons, seem to agree that Ida has no claim to human ancestry whatsoever.The title and subtitle of this book are extremely disingenuous. "The Link," not "A Link," which the author would admit is more accurate, since he describes any fossil that is intermediate between two known taxa as being a missing link. This is especially true given the general understanding that "the missing link" is one that connects humans to the other apes (news flash: we found that one more than 30 years ago) Also, "Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor," not "Uncovering a possible anthropoid ancestor from the middle Eocene," which would make vastly more sense, since "our earliest ancestor" lived more than 3.5 billion years ago and was a microscopic bundle of genetic information. Even in the text of the book, Tudge doesn't seem to realize that even if Ida is indeed a direct ancestor of all anthropoids, which doesn't seem to be true anyway, there are still earlier human ancestors, such as the ancestors of all primates, all mammals, all reptiles, etc. I've personally discovered many primate specimens (not nearly as beautiful or complete as Ida, but that's beside the point) that predate her by at least 3 million years, and that are just as likely to have some ancestral relationship to humans (again, not very likely). 47 million years is a very long time, but there's absolutely no justification for the word "earliest" in the title of this book.The book was published at the same time as the scientific article, and these were roughly coincident with a BBC documentary and a hilariously hyperbolic website. What they don't mention in the book is that this media circus was necessary in order to justify the amount of money paid to the private collector to obtain the specimen. Everything was therefore rushed to be on time for the scheduled unveiling of the fossil, which is apparent in the sloppy science and poor editing of this book. I'm a graduate student at the very university home to two of the "dream team" researchers, and I know these scientists do great work. I really do think the greed of the "private collector" and subsequent media circus is to blame for most of the issues with the book and the generally absurd claims surrounding this specimen.On the positive side, the book is a very quick read, and the skeleton in question is indeed extremely important with enormous implications on primate evolution (but not so much on human evolution; I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud at the overblown one-liners and generally hyperbolic boosterism. For example, this is the fossil that should help us to see that all human races are equal and that we're all related? Doesn't Lucy, or any number of other, more recent human ancestors, do a better job of that?).If a potential reader has very little background in primate evolution, one could do worse than this book, as it does make for a decent, if frequently maddening, introduction to the subject. For information about Darwinius massilae specifically, this book is terrible, especially when the actual scientific article is available online for free at PLoS ONE.

  • Max Wilson
    2018-11-12 03:50

    A shared ancester with Chimpanzees that is less than 47 million years old should be freaking people out more. I don't think people get it. Forget about the religious quacks - this is making a bunch of Anthropologists nervous.

  • Michelle
    2018-12-08 03:59

    "For those who like paleontology but are not be scientists in the field, this book offers a unique look into the study of paleontology, the search for fossils and just what fossil finds entail for the scientists involved. Mr. Tudge does a great job of setting the backdrop and explaining in fairly easy-to-understand terminology what this find means for scientists throughout the world. He takes roughly 150 of the 250 pages of the book to explain what the earth was like both before and after Ida was living, how early primates evolved, the truly unique nature of Ida's final resting place, and how we can extrapolate from Ida's era to our own. This background paves the way for the reader to understand the significance of Ida.[return][return]Even a layperson like me realizes that Ida is truly a one-in-a-million find. The pictures sprinkled throughout the book certainly highlight just how remarkable she is. Not only is the skeleton complete, but you can also see the outline of her fur as well as the fossilized remains of her stomach contents at the time of her death. Given the fact that most fossils are partial remains, this detail is both astonishing and slightly eerie.[return][return]Speaking of eerie, if one were to look solely at the cover without knowing anything else about the book, one would almost get the impression that it falls in the horror genre. I get what the publishers were trying to do with the cover illustration (that is one of Ida's hands), but it still is a bit creepy to me to see it isolated like that. The full fossil pictures are stunning; the single hand scares me ever so slightly.[return][return]One other bone of contention is Mr. Tudge's descriptions of the scientists involved. Dr. Jorn Hurum is the paleontologist who was shown a picture of Ida at a fossil fair and immediately recognized the value of the find. Professor Philip Gingerich and Dr. Jens Franzen also helped confirm Ida's authenticity and continue to work together to unravel all of her secrets. Extremely lucky (because paleontology requires luck) men, they appear more than capable of handling the job. And yet, Mr. Tudge's descriptions of them, especially when compared to the pictures included in the book, seems slanted and somewhat biased. Dr. Hurum, as the lead scientist, is described as having the ""rugged look of an explorer"" and ""a sturdy build"", which does not match the picture. Dr. Franzen is described as having Coke-bottle glasses. Let's just say that if he's wearing Coke-bottle glasses, then my glasses belonged on the Hubble telescope. I know these seem minor, but it did get me wondering what else he slanted in his descriptions. I've read a lot of peer-reviewed literature and have done my fair share of literature reviews for my Masters' program, so minor details such as inaccurate descriptions of main characters tends to raise a yellow flag for me to proceed with caution and understand that the author's point of view may be skewed.[return][return]In all, this book made me remember why I wanted to be a paleontologist or archaeologist when I grew up. Mr. Tudge does a tremendous job of presenting complex ideas in a simplistic fashion to help guide the reader to a better understanding of the overall importance of the discovery. I learned quite a bit about prehistoric Earth after the dinosaurs roamed, and I met Ida. She is definitely one fascinating little ""lady"" and well worth the time and effort it takes to finally meet her.[return][return]Thanks to Anna Balasi at Hachette Books for the opportunity to review this book!"

  • David Bales
    2018-12-06 04:59

    When I was in the American Museum of Natural History last month they were heavily promoting this book, so I got it out from the library. It's about the strange fossil found in the Messel coal pit in Germany in the 1960s, a brilliantly detailed 47 million year old early primate that seems to make a decisive link between the earliest mammals and humans. In private hands until the last few years when it was put up for sale at the Hamburg fossil show and purchased by the Natural History Museum of Oslo, the fossil is of a small, lemur like animal that bridges the gap between monkeys and lemurs to an extent that it is like the "Rosetta Stone of Paleontology." Very interesting book about the Earth during the eocene epic and how the different geologic epics are different from each other. Tudge does a good job of detailing the finds of the Leakeys, Raymond Dart and others in building the base of knowledge around the origins of human beings. One of the most interesting hypotheses in the book concerns the fact that modern humans and Neanderthals wee contemporaries for 10,000 years until either the modern humans wiped out the earlier group, co-mingled with them or out-competed them. Since the Neanderthals lived mostly in northern latitudes, the reasoning is that they would have had more blonde and red-haired people and Tudge speculates that folk memory of the Neanderthals could account for some of the Norse myths about "blonde and red-haired giants". Interesting.

  • David
    2018-11-27 06:55

    This book is about "Ida", the oldest primate fossil ever discovered. At 47 million years old, it is 43 million years older than the next oldest primate fossil, "Lucy". Ida was discovered in the 1970's in Germany, and kept privately until just a few years ago. Then it was sold for a million dollars to the Natural History Museum of Oslo, where it has been receiving considerable attention by scientists.This remarkable fossil find deserves a lot of attention, because Ida's fossil skeleton is 95% complete--an almost unheard of percentage for an ancient fossil. Even stomach contents were preserved, showing that Ida ate fruits. The creature was small, but probably stood upright and could possibly be of a species that was an ancestor to humans.The first part of the book describes Ida's discovery. The last part of the book describes Ida in detail. Both of these parts are fascinating. The middle part of the book goes into details about paleontology and evolution that have little to do with Ida directly. Frankly, these details are far beyond my understanding, and probably beyond that of most readers. So, I cannot recommend this book without some reservations.

  • Jeanette Lukens
    2018-11-18 02:54

    This was an interesting book about our possible common ancestor with other primates. I'm not sure, however, it merited an entire book. It seems like an in-depth article would have been more appropriate.

  • Erik Graff
    2018-12-09 07:57

    This is the first book I've received of the review copies offered by GoodReads and, as such, I felt obligated to read and review it immediately upon receipt.Unlike many coauthored books, Tudge and Young divided their work by subject, Tudge, the science writer, taking up the scientific issues, Young, the history of the discovery, its acquisition by the University of Oslo and its impact. Despite this, there is no glaring change of voice between chapters. One presumes some effective editorial oversight.Despite the hype of the cover, this book is not likely to be found "compelling" by most readers. The discovery of a squirrel-like forty-seven million year's gone possible missing link is rather remote and hard to relate to. Perhaps it could have been made interesting, but instead the authors try, in my opinion, to do too much. Part of the book is about the discovery and acquisition, but not much of it. Apparently there was enough mystery to that process to have provided an exciting narrative, but instead the text runs off into a lengthy discussion of the Eocene world, the evolution of species, the ages of the Earth and the probably causes of such climactic changes--each part of which themselves could have served for separate books and the climate change portion of which might have served as a narrative thread for a particularly relevant text. Another part of the book is about the specimen's immediate environment, the Messel Pit in Germany. This, the history of the Pit and of the processes of fossilization there and elsewhere might also have served as a main thread, but, again, the possibilities aren't much exploited. Instead, there is a too-long section about the various kinds of creatures found in the pit, an almost scholastic categorization of types and exemplars. Finally, there is the specimen itself, the six-month old female dubbed "Ida". She herself is, as suggested, too remote a creature to carry the weight of a book, but the story of her forensic examination could, if the methodologies and histories were explored, perhaps have carried an entire text. As it is, however, these matters are only glancingly discussed.

  • فاطمة الابراهيم
    2018-11-24 07:08

    لا أدري من أين أبدأ ..!هذا الكتاب قرأته من قبل ثلاثة أشهر ، وفي كل مره أود الكتابة عنه أتقاعس عن فعل ذلك !في أواخر القرن التاسع عشر - 1875م - وفي حفرة ميسيل تحديداً تم العثور على كائن غريب ليتوصل أحد العلماء إلى فك الشفرة أو كما أسماها بـ " الحلقة المفقودة " لمعرفة أصلنا البشري ..!فيما مضى عُد إكتشاف " لوسي " التي احدثت ضجة علمية عالمية ، كون أنها أولى الرئيسيات التي تسير منتصبة القامة ، إلا أنها لم تتفوق على الاكتشاف الذي عُثر عليه في ألمانيا في حفرة تحت ظروف فريدة جداً مكنتها بالاحتفاظ بهيكل ذلك الكائن شبه كاملاً بل ما أثير عجب العلماء بقايا الطعام المحتفظة في معدتها .. طبعاً نقصد بالحديث عن سيدة الحلقة المفقودة " إيدا "حسب قرائتي للكتاب ، نال هذا الاكتشاف أهمية عظيمة عن سائر كل جهود البحث والتنقيب التي عثر عليها العلماء سابقاً ، فإيدا تعود لحقبة زمنية بعيدة أبعد عن تلك الاكتشافات ، وحسب اجتهاداتهم العلمية فهى ترجع للعصر الايوسيني ، وكونها تعتبر من الرئيسيات والتي يدخل من ضمنها القردة والليمور و الانسان ، فهم يرون بأن الأصل البشري ينتمي من ذلك الكائن صاحب الذيل الطويل المتخذ وضعية الجنين ..!في بداية قرائتي للكتاب شعرت بأنه أجمل ما قرأت في كتب الانثربولوجي ، فالعنوان الجانبي كفيل بإثارة فضول المهتمين ، كانت البداية مشوقة وبود يديك لو تسبق عينيك لمعرفة ما تخفيه الصفحات القادمة ، لكن سرعان ما تلاشت تلك الحماسة شيئاً فشيئاً مع كل صفحة أقلبها ..!أولاً الكتاب يضم كماً هائلاً من المعلومات والمصطلحات الانثرولوجية التي لا يعرفها سوى المختص وليس المهتم ، وكنت أحسب صديقي محلل الألغاز التعقيدية " ويكيبيديا " سيقوم بفكها ، لكنه زاد الأمر أكثر تعقيدا !صحيح أن الكتاب يضم صوراً عديدة التي تم اكتشافها في حفرة ميسيل ، واجتهدت المترجمة بتيسير الترجمة لكن الكتاب يفوقها ويفوق استيعاب القارئ ، بإختصار هذا الكتاب لا يخص عامة القراء بل علماء الحفريات و أساتذه الإنثربولوجيين عدا ذلك لا أنصحكم بقراءته ..!

  • Jeffrey
    2018-12-05 01:05

    Subtitled Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor, the book was released with the public announcement of the so-called missing link discovery. It seems that a fossil poacher had discovered a find of such unique historical value that the world must now be given proof of the newest Darwinian twist.As most educated people know, Darwin developed his theory of Evolution. It has been suggested that man and apes share a common ancestor and IDA, the fossil discussed in the book may very well be that link. Written with clear and precise language, I found the book easily the most readable science book written in the last few years. The ideas are clear and profound; Tudge does a wonderful service to the find.I do not propose to debate evolution, you either believe or you do not. I, myself, am convinced that evolution is sound theory and without contradiction, I do not see that it is something that can be ignored. Unless the creator himself dispels the notion, it is the best explanation that we currently have. Yet, that is a digression for another day and another post.The Link is a very important book in that it can serve as a historical biography of the Messel Pit into which so many fossils have been found and to those that continue the search for the extinct life forms of the past. The knowledge of current ecology can only be helped with a look at the past.As with many books, this was one that I found myself talking with co-workers and friends. I felt the need to pass the book around so that they may also enjoy it for themselves. I see it becoming a book for selection for our book club.

  • Ethar Mahmoud
    2018-12-07 06:02

    هو كتاب علمى درجة أولى بالرغم من محاولات الكاتب المستميتة والواضحة ف تبسيط المعلومات بس الموضوع فعلا صعب بيجمع بين علم الأنثروبولوجى والحفريات وبيتكلم فالعموم عن حفرية مكتشفة حديثا اسمها (إيدا) تعتبر إحدى الحلقات المفقودة ف سجل الحفريات وبشكل خاص سجل الرئيسيات ومدى أهمية كده فارتباط السجل ده بنشأة الإنسانالحفرية مش من الأسلاف المباشرة للبشر ....بس أصلا وجود حفرية بتمثل حلقة مفقودة بين مجموعتين من الرئيسيات يعنى عندها صفات مشتركة من الاتنين دى حاجة عظيمة فعلا اللى بيزيد عظمة الاكتشاف هو حاجتين :أولا:مدى قدم الحفرية وعمرها 74 مليون سنة يعنى تعتبر من الرئيسيات الأولى ثانيا:اكتشاف الحفرية ع محفوظة بشكل رائع لدرجة أن محتويات أمعائها موجودة وسهل تحليلها نرجع تانى للكتاب ....الجزء الأول منه عن كيفية اكتشاف (إيدا) ف بحيرة ميسيل فألمانيا ...وهو ممل الحقيقةالجزء التانى تفسير لمدى أهمية الحفرية وعلاقتها بالتطور والرئيسيات وموقعها من السجل الحفرى والتاريخى ومدى استفادتنا منها ...الجزء ده بقى مشكلته انه تقيل شوية عايز حد عارف عن الأنثروبولوجى كويس ......وأخيرا اعترف أن الكتاب مبذول فيه جهد كويس جدا ومحاولة عظيمة لتبسيط الأمور وبرضه أشيد جدا بموقف الكاتب من نظرية التطور اللى بيماثل رأيى فيها وهى أن وجود common ancestors للكائنات هو أكبر دليل ع أن للعالم إله مش العكس وهو أن للكون قوانين بديهية يسار عليها دون الحاجة لوجود إله

  • Mattie
    2018-11-27 06:54

    Very cool report on an amazing find - a nearly fully-intact fossil of a 47 million year old primate. Tudge does a great job of walking the reader through enough basic paleontology to understand the importance of "Ida" (as she has been dubbed) to both our understanding of our own biological history and to the profession of paleontology. Armed with this 200 pages of background knowledge, I was really looking forward to a detailled discussion of Ida and where she fits in. Unfortunately, there's only one chapter devoted to "Who and what is Ida" and how she fits in to the competing theories regarding the evolution of primates. I can't help but feel that after all the intro, poor Ida got a little bit of short shrift.Maybe after additional study of Ida by the scientific community, more of her story will become known and a sequel to The Link will provide more of the fascinating story Ida has to tell.

  • Lue
    2018-12-06 01:01

    Colin Tudge's The Link is a shameful grab for money, in my opinion. For three-fifths of the book, the eocene and primate evolution are detailed in repetitive prose that, because of its repetitive nature, lacks clarity in its descriptions of anything related to the importance of the paleontological find. The description of Ida is sorely lacking in any details and the illustraions (what few there are) lack any real captions to put them in context for the reader. Tudge should have waited for more detailed information about Ida to be available before taking any steps to write a book about it and/or Little Brown should have invested more time and energy into thorough editing and proper publication of information that is this important.

  • Pooja
    2018-11-18 01:54

    This book took me so long to read that I actually forgot half the material it discussed. While, there were some interesting points, it spent so much time reviewing background information that by the time it got around to discussing Ida, there were only two chapters left. The background information was mostly new to me, so I could glean some interest, but I imagine it would be very boring for someone with more familiarity with the materiall.

  • No
    2018-11-11 05:53

    It is true that a lot of this book is not about the 47 million year old fossil Ida, but still a great book. What is written about Ida is very fascinating. Enjoyed reading about all of the different fossils that have been found, great history on the messil pit in Germany etc. This book covers a ton of stuff. Great high quality photos as well.Written on my iPhone. Keeping it short.

  • Dana
    2018-11-22 03:52

    Ida: the 47 m.y. fossil used to live in the Eocene era. When it was hot, who was resting all that time in the Messel pit lake after breathing the toxic gas from the lake while trying to drink water. Ida Didn't show anatomic evidence for the bacculum or the penis bone. It is excited it Gorillas and chimpanzees but not in human. Didn't possess the tooth comb, a set of long,flat,forward -angled teeth in the lower jaw that are present at birth. The Lemur has them. Ida doesn't possess the grooming claw, an angled on one toe that lemur use for cleaning fur that can't reach with the tooth comb. Methane: CH4. It forms when organic is left to decay under certain conditions. It forms in vast quantities. Many millions of tons. When creatures which have shells, made of silica, sink to the bottom of deep (Oceans) when there is no chance to have oxygen rich water. If the same condition was cold enough,  the newly formed Methane becomes trapped in the permafrost that forms in the mud of thr ocean bed and become what it is known as Methane ice. Once the condition started to warm a bit. The methane ice melts and become free, drift to the surface and straight to the atmosphere.The Taxonomists listed the living groups into those three families :Gibons: under HylobatidaeThe great apes, the chimpanzee and bonbons and two species of gorilla and the two species of orangutans : under PongodaeHuman being under Hominidae Our own rise began with grasslands. Which happened at the end of the Eocene Albumins: if two different animals have very similar Albumins it means they are closely related genetically. 

  • Niki Belter
    2018-12-10 08:00

    good read for archaeology nerds.

  • Alyce (At Home With Books)
    2018-11-21 07:09

    Upon finishing The Link my first thought was that I could easily divide it into the interesting parts (at the beginning and the end) and the boring and dry (the middle). Then I read the acknowledgments at the end of the book and discovered that it was written by two authors and one of them wrote the parts I liked, the other wrote the dry middle section.I think the authors really missed an opportunity with this book. I say that because it has a lot of information that could have made for a compelling and interesting read. Unfortunately the writing was so dry, with many lists and descriptions of ancient animals and their habitats, that I quickly lost interest.The first and last sections of the book will appeal more to the general public. They contain the story of the discovery of Ida and discuss the possible effects that discovery could have on the scientific community and future research. There are also some nice color photos included in the book, as well as diagrams and three dimensional reconstructions of Ida's fossil.There was a lot of potential for this to be an exciting popular nonfiction book, and if that was what the authors were going for then they really mistook their audience, particularly in the dryer, more scientific section of the book. So what turned me off from this book? The bulk of it reads like a textbook, briefly cataloging and describing the various animals of the time. Interspersed are interesting tidbits, but you have to hunt for them (or have an unusual love of textbook-style writing). On one hand the information on geology and evolution is introductory, on the other it is written using such dry scientific and technical terms that the non-academic reader will probably lose interest.Detailed scientific information is not a bad thing in and of itself, except the text then drones on and on about each type of animal in the Messel area during the Eocene. It reads like a catalog or index of animals. Here's an example: Though we have only one of its bones from Messel Pit - a femur found a very long time ago, in mining days - the biggest of all the Messel birds was Gastornis, which stood more than six feet (2 meters) high and yet was stocky, weighing in at 220 pounds (100 kilograms), with a head as big as a modern pony's and a huge eaglelike beak. Here the American connection is very strong, for Gastornis seems to be more or less the same as the American Diatryma. Page 85And it continues in that style, animal description after animal description.If you have a deep desire to know about the many different types of animals that lived in the Eocene in the area of the Messel Pit, then by all means pick up this book. I do think that I have a better understanding of the Eocene and Ida's place in evolutionary history after reading this book, I just wish it wouldn't have been so boring. I received a free copy of this book for review via Goodreads.

  • Grace
    2018-11-12 02:12

    In my area of study of archaeology and geology, I'd like to say that I have a shallow grasp on the subject of palaeontology. Tudge's writing of the subject definitely widened my grasp, if not deepened it a little. Here is a brief overview of the book, and my thoughts on the chapters or chunks of chapters. The first two chapters are about the discovery and acquisition of Ida. I really liked how these chapters put a personal edge on the field of palaeontology. I learnt quite a bit about the legalities of fossil acquisition in these chapters. Chapters 3 and 4 are about the Eocene world and Messil pit where Ida was found. Hearing the descriptions of the world that Ida lived in really brings her story to life. Chapter 3, however, made my eyes glaze over occasionally with the frenzy of Latin names that appeared in some sections with descriptions of the critters that surrounded Ida and her environment. It isn't like that was a consistent state, but it happened in chunks. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 dealt with primate evolution. This was laid out very clearly and concisely. Tudge does a better job at this than my primatology textbook did, to which I'm grateful for. Chapter 8 gets back to Ida and ties her in with chapters 5,6, and 7. I wish this chapter was a little more in depth, but at the same time it goes on long enough. I found that I was wanting more information here. Chapter 9 delves into the whys and hows that the science team working on Ida chose to reveal her the way they did. Being in science and working with the public with science education, I can relate to this. However, it didn't take away the fact that I thought there was way too much hype around Ida to take her seriously. I'd like to note that now that I know more about Ida's story I can appreciate her more. This is a very good book for the person interested in primate evolution, palaeontology, or the Eocene. It is informative and gives glimpses into the minds of the scientists that first studied Ida. Some parts of the book did bother me though. For one, Latin names would often send me to Google for a description. Two, the rendered images in the book say "An early tree-dimensional reconstruction . . . " I spent a great deal of time wondering if there was anything different about later reconstructions. And third, which also explained why they used early reconstructions is that the last chapters give clues that suggest that the book was written and published before things were really finished with Ida. Somehow this sits uneasy with me, but it doesn't diminish the science in the middle of the book at all.

  • Alex Telander
    2018-11-24 03:51

    Posted with permission from the Sacramento Book ReviewIn what was touted to be a publication so astounding that it required specially sealed boxes with “untitled” printed on the side and a very specific laydown date, The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor didn’t lead a revolution in science or shock the world as much as expected. The book begins with a hypothetical story of how a lemur-like creature some 55-33 millions years ago was gassed at a lake sitting on top of a volcano, dropped into the water and sank into the mud below. Then over millions of years, with further layers compacting and preserving the skeleton, it now stands as one of the most complete skeletons ever discovered. The Link tells the detailed story of how the skeleton, known as Ida, was found and how it is the supposed “missing link” and the first step that animals made into becoming primates and eventually humans. With the creation of a new genus, Darwinius, there is currently only this skeleton as its single member: Darwinius masillae, or Ida, as it’s discover, Dr. Jørn Hurum (though not the original discover) dubbed it after his daughter. The Link is a good anthropology book, giving a history lesson on our ancestry and the ancestry of many animals and how this new species may fit into it. The criticism against it is that there still remains a lot of be research, discovered, and confirmed about Ida, and many scientists around the world have objected to the overly-publicized nature of this skeleton and it being called the “missing link.” While time will tell what more Ida has to offer, for now, The Link remains a interesting book, with facts on Darwinius masillae that should be taken with some suspicion. But then isn’t that how all science is done?For more reviews, check out the BookBanter site.

  • Bonita Brin
    2018-12-06 06:01

    I won this book from Goodreads. I know just a little about the various "missing links" found around the world. But I have never heard of Ida and the era in which she lived 47 million ago during the Middle Eocene. The reason why Ida is such an important find is that her skeleton is one of the most complete specimans ever discovered near Frankurt, Germany,near a town called Messel. Ida's world was a rain forest with a lake full of algae.As the surface algae died, ithey sank to the bottom and turned into slime which gradually turned into mud. This mud and an almost complete lack of oxygen killed all bacteria. This allowed any creature that fell into the lake to float to the bottom and remain undisturbed for ages. This is where Ida's flattened body was found in 1982 by a private fossil collector. It must have taken months to of chipping away shale and finally stabilizing the bones after which they were placed on the collector's shelf or 25 years. The fossil languished here until 2006 when the collector decided to sell it. It was at a German fossil fair that Joen Hurum, associate professor of paleontology at the National History Museum at the University of Oslo, purchased it for his instiution.After years of careful study, Hurum and his team of scientists realized that in this 2 foot long fossil, they have found a extraordinary link in the development of primates. I found the book to be very instructive for the reader interested in the story of the deveopment of primates.Ida isn't as famous as Lucy who lived millions of years after her, but her story is very interesting and important in the attempt to follow the story of primates.

  • Erin
    2018-11-23 03:07

    “In the glow of the gibbous moon, a petite being moves through the palm trees surrounding a lake that seems almost impossibly pristine…This is Ida…”Ida is an early primate from the tropical land of Germany 47 million years ago. She is also the most essential archeological find in the history of evolutionary investigation. Ida is a rare creature…a complete fossil. And she is also the common ancestor of both the prosimians (primates such as Lemurs and Tarsiers) and the anthropoids (the simians: monkeys and apes). In other words, she is “the link”. This fossil is proof of Darwin’s “transitional species” and definitively shows humanity’s place in the evolutionary chain.In The Link, Colin Tudge tells the tale of Ida’s discovery in the Messel Pit (a pit of fossil finds and oil shale in Germany that was once a lake formed by a lava eruption) by an anonymous private collector and her transfer of custody to a paleontologist named Jorn Hurum at the Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo. Tudge also elaborates on the implications that Ida’s discovery has on the history of human origins, and what scientists have determined about Ida and her world. The Link includes detailed photographs of Ida and other fossils found in the Messel Pit.Colin Tudge is a “biologist by education and a writer by inclination”, as stated in his bio on the book jacket. His publications are quite eclectic, covering topics such as food, biology, and agriculture. Meanwhile, Ida is taking the world by storm. She was introduced to “the world” in May of 2009. For more information about her and her international tour, visit www.revealingthelink.com.

  • Stella
    2018-12-06 03:57

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/20...Before 1988 the government of Hessin (Germany) wanted to use the Lake Messel Fossil site as a Garbage dump. Now it is on the World Heritage List of Unesco.http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/720Ida was found illegally in 1980 by a private fossil hunter. Then sold. This scientist attributes the global change to humanity's behavior on Earth. There is much discussion on the changing temperature due to Continental Drift. That was a very interesting discussion that tied into Jared Diamond's statements. I'm almost done with the book. It was a quick read. Easy to understand and extremely interesting. The penultimate chapter was a mire full of pithicuses, pithescenes, tarsiers, adapaforms, onamonapias, etc. I got lost there. Fascinating book. These books make me wish I were a scientist. But Ida, the star of the book, is an almost impossible chance of fate. Fossils are rare as is but to find a complete skeleton so well preserved, with a cast of her hair and nails in the bed around her as well as the contents of her stomach, is amazing!

  • Ron
    2018-11-17 02:09

    Condescendingly pedantic on about a 5th grade level of literacy--elevated from the 3rd grade only by the vocabulary necessary to the field--Tudge bores us to death for more than 2/3s of the book with a simplistic overview of those anthropology and archaeology 101 courses we took so long ago. Our author also has a bad habit of beginning sentences with 'and'--and other construction words that should remain in the middle--as well as littering his prose with an enormous amount of parens. His real sin, however, is that only 40 pages of this slim 240 page (and that is a stretch, as the font is so large and the margins so narrow that the book would barely be 180 pages) are devoted to the star of the story: Ida. Oddly enough, most of that information is contained in the few chapters written by another author (chapters that Tudge evidently didn't bother to read, judging by the amount of redundant data he spits out). Considering that this may be the single most important fossil find in history, Tudge has given us one of the epic failures in the history of science writing.

  • Jim Good
    2018-11-23 05:08

    Ostensibly about the fossil named Ida found in the Messel fossil pit in Germany that is called a possible 47 million-year-old ancestor to homosapiens. Tudge uses Ida to tell the story of the time when the fossil was formed, the means by which it got formed, the fossil collectors and how it came into public view, the evolutionary patterns of species, and why it may be a branch of human evolution. The book is at it’s best when describing the time and method of Ida’s forming. The changes in climate, fauna, and land mass all come together in the Messel pit during the Eocene period and the conditions that preserved Ida’s form. Tudge does a great job of describing these conspiring conditions and how they interplay. The book gets bogged down a bit when making the case that Ida is a precursor to homosapiens. In this the evidence is not entirely compelling. If the book wasn’t titled “The Link” this would be less annoying since it would be ancillary to all the other information provided.

  • Tanja Berg
    2018-11-28 07:46

    Any perfectly preserved 47-million old fossil of a mammal would be a sensation. When it also could be one of the first primate species to ever walk the earth, even more so. There are few primate fossils and "Ida" is 43 million years older than "Lucy". It is astounding, to say the least. How "Ida" was found and brought into the light of science is an interesting story well worth reading. That's about the first 50 pages of this book. The rest delves on the Messel cave where the Ida fossil was found, on continent drift and primate evolution, all told in a terribly simplistic and infantile style. Perhaps this is exacerbated because of translation, I read this book in Norwegian. I usually avoid translations, but I recall picking this up from a sale in a Norwegian bookshop. Maybe I would have found it more interesting in English, but frankly, I doubt it. There is a wealth of books that cover evolution better than this one. No matter how fascinating "Ida" might be she is just one link, one thread in evolution's rich and textured fabric.

  • Cara
    2018-11-14 01:01

    I don't share the same passion for the evolutionary history of humankind that Colin Tudge does (and apparently also his coauthor, who wrote the majority of the book but isn't even credited on the cover, wtf is up with that?). So, not to lie, I did at times find this rather boring. I didn't, and still don't, see why the discovery of Ida, a very early primate, is all that exciting. But apparently it is very exciting to the authors, and at times their passion managed to infect me, though not for very long. I was more interested in the general history of primate evolution which the majority of this book is composed of. It's not a particularly well-done general overview it jumps around a lot from place to place and seems to be written more as a reminder overview for evolutionary biologists, not for the rest of us. Of course, I've heard that Ida's importance is of a somewhat controversial nature, and this book doesn't address that at all, so I'm not sure it's actually written for evolutionary biologists either.

  • Cassandra Kay Silva
    2018-12-05 02:07

    The subject matter was good. Why did the author not focus more on the Ida skeleton though? I think the build up was backward, he should have presented the relative nature of the skeleton, gone into depth on the skeleton and what each part means and then maybe branched into explaining how it fits into our views of the past. Instead he opens beautifully with a very wonderfully described portion detailing what Idas life and surroundings may have entailed and then went into the bulk of paleontology without giving the reader the details of this particular find. The "details" were exposed at the end and frankly in only one or two chapters. I would have liked to have read more a bout this particular find, the history lesson was good and I think there is a lack of books featuring paleontology and its current views but it just seemed backwards? Don't get me wrong I still liked it. The book had a lot of great information and the color photos were excellent.

  • Joseph M. O'Connor
    2018-11-16 09:15

    A sure cure for insomnia...Mr. Trudge has managed to take a subject full of promise and turn it into a mind-numbing tour-de-force of the Eocene as dense and impenetrable as the matter in a neutron star. Were I to imitate Mr. Tudge's style at this point I would tell you we must go back to the beginning and discuss the creation of the universe before discussing star formation, then star death, then all the conditions needed to form a neutron star. BORING!I LOVE popularized science. I can't get enough of people like John Gribben and Jay Gould and Lawrence M. Krauss. That is to say, authors who know how to take jargon and scientific "code" and make it readable. Colin Tudge is NOT one of those authors! What a shame. I remain fascinated by the oil shales of Messel. I would love to know more. But I refuse to torture myself reading such a poorly thought-out, scientifically dense mess like The Link.

  • Zoffix Znet
    2018-11-20 06:59

    This book should've been titled "A Brief History of Primates", then heavily edited, and maybe then it would be worth the time reading. The first 16 pages excite you and offer a promise that will never actually be delivered; the story of the most marvelous ancestor fossil to date unfolds before your eyes. The last 19 pages also seem relevant, interesting, and coherent. However, the 222 pages in between, unfortunately, are disconnected attempts to describe primate evolution. Some ideas are repeated probably 4 or 6 times, there are constant jumps to various aspects of the topic; in short, the book's in dire need of proper editing. I'm not sure who is the target audience for this book, but having no primatology background, I found myself completely lost in jargon and species' names. Don't waste your time reading this book, just look at the colour inserts stuffed in three places in the book, and you won't miss much.