Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ah, the Intrigue of Palaeontology!

Here is some back story about the disovery of Ida and how it came into the hands of the scientists. It is the stuff of Nick Danger:
Hunched around a table at a vodka bar in Hamburg, Jørn Hurum, a palaeontologist, was about to make the scientific gamble of his life. Thomas Perner, a fossil dealer whom he knew well, had insisted they met; he had something very special to show him.

Looking nervously over his shoulder for prying glances, Perner put three ­photographs of a fossil on the bar table. "My heart started beating extremely fast," said Hurum. "I knew that the dealer had a world sensation in his hands. I could not sleep for two nights."

Rumours had been flying around for years in the palaeontological community about a spectacular primate fossil specimen. Now Hurum was one of the first people in the world to see it.

Read the whole thing.

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