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The Earliest Child: The Significance of “Selam”

October 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


This program is FREE to attend, no registration is necessary. Seating will be first-come, first-served.

Selam, Australopithecus afarensis. Discovered in Dikika, Ethiopia in 2000.

When did we start to walk on two legs? Use and make stone tools? Have a human-like body proportion? Have a large brain? — These are some of the key questions. Despite major achievements, many aspects of these questions remain unanswered due to the fragmentary nature of the fossil record. Ongoing research on the earliest child found by Dr. Zeray Alemseged in Dikika, Ethiopia, and nicknamed “Selam,” is shedding light on patterns of childhood, locomotion, dental and brain development, and many issues pertaining to human evolution.


While most of our knowledge in paleoanthropology comes from remains of adult individuals like Lucy, fossil children also have unique stories to tell. Our knowledge of human evolution will be complete when we combine the two. Join us for a talk with Professor Zeray Alemseged as he presents on how the discovery of an almost complete skeleton of a juvenile early human ancestor has helped scientists answer some of the most pressing questions about human evolution.

Presented in partnership with the Chicago Council on Science and Technology and The Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Center.

Sponsored by:
Camilla and George Smith
Ann and Gordon Getty


October 16, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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I [name], of [city, state ZIP], bequeath the sum of $[ ] or [ ] percent of my estate to L.S.B. Leakey Foundation for Research Related to Man’s Origins, Behavior & Survival, (dba The Leakey Foundation), a nonprofit organization with a business address of 1003B O’Reilly Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129 and a tax identification number 95-2536475 for its unrestricted use and purpose.

If you have questions, please contact Sharal Camisa Smith sharal at 

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