Oddly, I'm going to miss this book. I didn't think I would. I know some people found the middle part of this book to be boring, but I enjoyed every part of this book. I can't say there weren't times that I wish a part was shorter. I wish I had a hardcopy/ebook of this book. There are so many things running though my head but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to write a review that makes any sense at all. Do I ever manage to do so? Debatable!
I was expecting Ida to be a larger part of this book. She was mentioned several times in the middle of the book, but the most info about her was at the very start of the book and the last couple of chapters. This annoys me in some ways, but at the same time, I understand that Ida wouldn't have mattered quite as much to me without the background in earth history (I hate geological time, since I can never keep the names straight in my head!) as well as primate evolution (I really enjoyed the part about what makes a primate a primate, and I'm sad that I can only remember a few of them: front facing eyes, stereoscopic vision (overlapping fields of vision), nails instead of claws, and opposable thumbs/big toes (can have both? not sure). Ha, I did learn something from this book! It counts!
I really wish we could get DNA from fossils. It's not possible, I know, but it would make everything so much easier. The author calls Ida our 'aunt', but there isn't really any way to know for sure. Maybe she really is our 'grandmother', but the idea is that humans evolved in Africa, and Ida was found in modern day Germany which isn't Africa!
I found it very interesting that Ida was a clinger-and-leaper. I wasn't expecting that. Her legs being longer than her arms suggests such, but I wasn't expecting that at all. I should have, but I first thought she was closer to an ape or monkey than a lemur (she's kind of half way between the two - monkey's and lemurs - but not really either). A lot of that has to do with my lack of knowledge about human evolution before reading this book. I now know that we (the homo genus) split from chimps about 7 million (estimates range from 8 million to 6 million so the author took the middle ground) years ago. That's really a short amount of time, geologically speaking.
Sadly, I have nothing else to say about this book. I'm sure I can come up with more, but without the book I'd just be relying on my memory and that's an iffy thing, sadly