The recent unveiling of a 47 million-year-old fossilized primate, 95% intact, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York has drawn a considerable amount of attention and contention in the world of paleontology. A team of scientists are calling the primate the “Holy Grail” of human evolution and it may very well be the famed missing link between humans and apes.

“It is the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail. This fossil will probably be the one that will be pictured in all textbooks for the next 100 years.”

The fossil was discovered by amateur paleontologists outside of Frankfurt, Germany in 1983. Scientists have since determined that the pit where the fossil was buried is that of  a volcanic caldera from the Eocene epoch. Numerous other fossilized animals were and are preserved there (nearly all in near perfect condition). The amateurs didn’t realize this nor did they realize the value of their discovery. It was finally purchased by the University of Oslo where scientists determined the fossil’s age and singularity.

Other scientists are calling the team’s “Holy Grail” a publicity stunt; a campaign designed to garnish an upcoming documentary (the first of many) on the History Channel and to plug a book that will be released later this year. In addition to this, evidence of older missing links were already found around a region of gold mines in California that predate the Holy Grail find by millions of years.

Daily News