Where Ida lived

Ida, Darwinius masillae, lived in the Eocene Period, which began 60 million years ago, 5 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

It was a warm period in Earth's history. The mammals flourished in the warm climate, and a period of rapid evolution took place. Animals ranging from the first recognisable forms of horses, rodents, bats and primates appeared, along with some bizarre creatures that eventually died out.

In these warm humid conditions, forests spread all over the world. Rainforests teemed with life and fossils have revealed that there were over 300 species of plants and animals living in Ida's forest at this time.  These represent only a fraction of the life that existed here, because much of the plant life would have quickly rotted in the moist jungle heat and would not have formed fossils.

Ida probably spent much of her time in the forest canopy, close to the warmth of the sun, rubbing shoulders with a wide variety of other climbing, leaping and flying animals.