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    Dr. Martin Whyte from Sheffield University

    \Ida is a cat-size skeleton from Germany which made the Google Home Page on May 20th and was the subject of a BBC documentary. At present it is being shown in museums round the world, being described as finding the Holy Grail for Palaeontologists and the first link to humans. It was illegally dug out of a pit near Frankfurt in 1983 and sold to a private collector who hung it on the wall of his home. In 2006 he offered it to the Natural History Museum in Oslo for $1 million. Oslo bought it and then secretly investigated it for 2 years before publishing on an online journal on May 19th this year and simultaneously making a documentary. Now the claims that Ida is a missing link are being disputed and the fossil is the subject of much controversy.
    Is this what palaeontology is like – secrecy, illegal mining, high-cost buying, media interest and bold claims? Dr. Martin Whyte is a paleo-environmentalist from Sheffield University and his own interests are dinosaur footprints and dinosaur eggs.