human evolution

Human Evolution. Leakey Discovers Turkana Boy: Homo erectus.


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In 1984 Richard Leakey discovers the Turkana Boy: Homo erectus

Richard Leakey, the son of Louis and Mary Leakey and Meave Leakey’s husband, was born in Kenya in 1944. He has dedicated his life to protect the ecology and wildlife of his country. He was Head of the National Museum, Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and leader of countless expeditions of paleontologists dedicated to finding hominid fossils.

In 1984, in a region of Kenya called Nariokotome, on the shores of Lake Turkana, he and his team found a nearly complete skeleton: 80% of the body of a child between 9 and 12 years old, who lived 1.6 million years ago and belongs to Homo erectus.

This fossil, known as Turkana Boy, is the most complete hominid skeleton ever found. Except for its feet and hands, the rest of the body is almost intact. It has been estimated that all the hominid fossils found in 10 years of hard work on the shores of Lake Turkana and which are an exceptional collection covering one million years represent only one individual per 100 million people who lived throughout that period. The scarcity of fossils of human ancestors is a fact that paleontologists have to endure.

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