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Thanks for listening to Origin Stories! We are on hiatus as we work on new episodes. Our new season will launch in August, and we can't wait to share more stories about how we became human.

Dec 29, 2015

We humans have evolved very differently from other primates. Is there one thing responsible for humans becoming human? Some evolutionary biologists think that the way we process our food, namely cooking it, could explain why our species developed so differently from others. Did cooking make us human? Dr. Richard...


Dec 5, 2015

This episode of Origin Stories was recorded live in San Francisco as part of the Bay Area Science Festival. It was the first of The Leakey Foundation and the Baumann Foundation’s new “Being Human” event series. Our speaker was Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a...


Nov 24, 2015

In On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin used a sketch of a tree of life to help describe his theory of evolution. In this metaphor, the branches of the tree represent the relationships between all living and extinct creatures. Humans, like all living creatures, are on the surface of the tree, and all extinct...


Oct 27, 2015

For over 35 years Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth have been studying wild African primates in order to better understand the evolution of the human mind. In this episode they tell us about their long-term study of free-ranging baboons in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Kinship and rank are tremendously important to...


Aug 26, 2015

Have you ever wondered what it's like to make a major fossil discovery? Arizona State University graduate student Chalachew Seyoum and professor Kaye Reed tell us their exciting story.

Seyoum was working as part of a team co-directed by Reed. While searching for hominid fossils at a site called Ledi-Geraru in the Afar...