Guest Post, Fossil Finders
Kamoya Kimeu may be the most famous “Fossil Finder” in paleoanthropology, but he was not alone when he made many of his remarkable discoveries. With him was a group of men who came to be known as the “Hominid Gang.” Walking and surveying the often inhospitable rocky landscape in East Africa, these men became outstanding and important fossil finders.
From the Field
Not all paleolithic research happens in the field! In fact, nowadays a lot of it happens in laboratories hidden away in university buildings and research institutes. Leakey Foundation grantee Frido Welker studies ancient proteins preserved in archaeological bone in order to learn more about human evolution.
Bonobo Mothers Meddle in Their Sons’ Sex Lives – Making Them Three Times More Likely to Father ChildrenJournal Article
New research shows that for bonobos, sex really is often a family affair. What’s more, rather than being an embarrassing hindrance, motherly presence greatly benefits bonobo sons during the deed.
"Nearly all mammals have the same number of cervical vertebrae, no matter how long or short their necks are--humans, giraffes, mice, whales, and platypuses all have exactly seven cervical vertebrae," said Jeff Spear, a doctoral student from New York University, and part of a team whose Leakey Foundation supported research explored why this characteristic has stayed the same through time and across species.
From the Field
Leakey Foundation grantee Kevin Hatala has recently returned from fieldwork near Nariokotome, in northwestern Kenya, where his research team did surveys and preliminary excavations of sites that preserve 1.5 million-year-old fossil footprints.
Small forest antelope in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have more to worry about than being eaten by leopards. In at least one portion of the forest, Weyn's duikers are the preferred meat consumed by bonobos, according to new research supported by The Leakey Foundation.
Ancient DNA research has revolutionized the study of human evolution, but some time periods and geographic regions have not yet yielded usable DNA. Leakey Foundation grantee Frido Welker is a postdoctoral researcher who is testing new methodologies for breaking down and extracting ancient proteins.
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