Jørn Hurum: IDA's skull structure
Early evolution of primates and how to tell the story
Dr Jørn Hurum
Jørn Hurum grew up outside Oslo, Norway and knew that he wanted to be a palaeontologist from the age of six.
Hurum studied palaeontology at the University of Oslo as an undergraduate, earning his PhD in 1997, and is now an associate professor in vertebrate palaeontology at the University.
His fieldwork in the Svalbard archipelago, located in the Arctic midway between Norway and the North Pole, has so far resulted in the mapping of forty skeletons of Jurassic marine reptiles. His team's greatest find was a 147 million year old, fifty foot giant sea creature known as 'Predator X'.
Hurum acquired Ida for the University of Oslo Natural History Museum during a visit to a fossil fair in Hamburg in 2006. When he was first shown the photo of Ida, Hurum realised its significance immediately and afterwards 'couldn't sleep for two nights'.
He describes Ida as the 'scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail'.