Controversy Helps ‘The Link' Boost History

The Link, a History special about the recently revealed 47 million year old fossil Ida, drew 2 million viewers Monday night, according to Nielsen Fast Cable ratings. That is up 67% compared to History's prime average.

The special also drew 904,000 P25-54 and 756,000 P18-49.

Ida--and the History special--was announced just a few weeks ago at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and in journal PLoS One. Since then, the fossil, which could be the earliest known mammalian ancestor of man, linking Anthropoids (a group which include humans) with earlier groups of primates, has been extensively covered in the media.

While the History special is dubbed The Link, implying the fossil is a so called "missing link" in human evolution, many science journalists have criticized that interpretation, arguing that there cannot be a single "missing link" and that at best the fossil adds to the already strong literature on human evolution, and at worst may not be a part of humanity's evolutionary history at all.