July 3rd, 2011
|janegraddell||01:07 pm - Paleoanthropologists!|
This is it. I will stop spamming this post with pictures now. I may put up more in the Hot Scientists folder, but I think I've already worn out my spamming welcome here.
One last family. The Leakeys. They are archeologists, anthropologists, and paleoanthropologists, sometimes all three. To the right are Louis and Mary, and to the left is their son, Richard. There are more family members in the field, but you can't make me look them up.
Louis and the rest of the Leakeys spent their lives studying the origins of the human species through excavating fossils in Kenya. Louis was interested in studying primates and their relationship to early humans, and mentored Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas.
(Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas, for reference purposes, you understand. Someone's already taken care of Jane Goodall)
After Louis died in 1972, Mary carried on for another twenty years, excavating and discovering unique and wonderful things (such as as set of fossillized footprints that were the earliest evidence of bipedalism) and generally being a kick-ass scientist.
Richard Leakey didn't disappoint as a Leakey successor. He found what was, at the time, the oldest species homo fossil (1.6 million years old! Wow! Okay, so he thought it was 3 million years old at the time. Details.) and several other important fossils.
Then Donald Johanson came along.
They used to be buds.
Until an older woman came between them. Two million years older than Leakey thought, anyway. And 1.6 million years older than his new boy-toy turned out to be. Oops. So they fought. On national television.
Then thirty years later, they made up again.