The Missing Link

Image for The Missing LinkNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 50 minutes

Last year the discovery of a tiny fossilised jawbone hit the headlines. The jawbone, only a few centimetres long, and with 7 rows of teeth, had been found lying abandoned in a dusty museum where it had lain unnoticed for decades. It's rediscovery has caused a sensation in the world of palaeontology because scientists now believe it may be a tiny remnant of a "missing link", an ancient extinct animal that could provide a vital clue in our understanding of one of the great mysteries of science - how, 360 million years ago, a slimy fish-like creature grew legs and walked out of the sea, onto the land, and became our ancestor. This mystery, of how and why, long ago, we grew legs and crawled out of the water, has taken scientists a century to unravel. And this tiny jawbone may be a final clue.


John Lynch
John Shrapnel
Per Ahlberg
Jenny Clack
Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer
Ted Daesschler
Duane T. Gish
Erik Jarvik
J. L. B. Smith
Keith Thomson
Matthew Barrett
Bettina Lerner
Matthew Barrett


More about Longitude Prize 2014

VOTE: Longitude Prize 2014 logo

The £10 million challenge to solve one of the greatest issues of our time.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss