Jens L. Franzen: IDA - the postcranial evidence
Early evolution of primates and how to tell the story
Dr Jens Franzen
Dr Jens Lorenz Franzen is a world renowned authority on Messel Pit from the Senkenburg Institute, Frankfurt.
His understanding of the true scientific value of the Messel Pit began in 1973 when a private collector showed him the head of a fossilised bird complete with preserved feathers.
For the next twenty seven years, he devoted his career to fighting for the preservation of the pit and studying its history. His efforts were rewarded in 1995, when UNESCO declared Messel Pit as a World Heritage Site.
Though Franzen had recently retired, when Hurum contacted him, he was thrilled with the opportunity to join the "Dream Team". The day he received Ida's picture and the invitation from Hurum was his 70th birthday, and he emailed Hurum to say, "This is the best birthday present I have ever had!"
For Franzen, Ida is "the 8th wonder of the world".