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Contribution Of Leakey Family To Our Increased Understanding Of Human Evolution

741 words - 3 pages

Mary1959 discovery of Zinjanthropus cranium at OlduvaiStarted modern science of paleoanthropology (Study of Human Origins)Louis and Mary Leakey found fossils in Tanzania and Kenya that indicated man's evolution began in East Africa 2 million years ago, far earlier than was believed at the time of the discovery.in Kenya in 1947, Mary Leakey discovered the skull of Proconsul africanus, an ape-like ancestor of both apes and prehistoric man that ived about 25 million years ago.1978 she made her most important discovery: footprints frozen for 3.5 million years in volcanic mud that demonstrated that early hominids walked upright much earlier than previously thought.she found fossilized parts of ...view middle of the document...

It also supported L.S.B. Leakey's startling suggestion that the Homo genus did not evolve from Australopithecus, but that parallel lineages of hominids were developing at the same timeLouishe was also largely responsible for convincing other scientists that Africa was the key location in which to search for evidence of human origins.Leakey began leading expeditions to Olduvai, a river gorge in Tanzania, where he found important fossils and Stone Age tools. In 1948 he reported finding a 20-million-year-old skull, which he named Proconsul africanus. Now considered to be too specialized to have been a direct ancestor of current ape and human populations, Proconsul is still considered scientifically valuable as a model for early human ancestors.Richardfamous (with Alan Walker in 1984), "Turkana Boy," a Homo erectus roughly 1.6 million years old, is one of the most complete skeletons ever found.MeaveMeave Leakey recently impressed the world with her 1999 discovery of a 3.5 million-year-old skull and partial...

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