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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.

May 17, 2022

In this episode, we explore five strange fossilized footprints found by Mary Leakey at the site of Laetoli in Tanzania. Decades after their original discovery, these footprints have revealed a new story about our ancient ancestors that expands our understanding of how hominins moved and interacted. 

Thanks to Dr. Ellison McNutt and Dr. Charles Musiba for sharing their work. 

Thanks as well to Jim Carty and Pat Randall for generously sponsoring this episode. Jim is a long-time Leakey Foundation supporter who actually volunteered to work at Laeotli in the 1980s to help figure out a way to preserve the Laetoli footprints.
Learn more
Footprint evidence of early hominin locomotor diversity at Laetoli, Tanzania
Charming video of Dr. McNutt coaxing a baby bear to walk upright
Dr. Charles Musiba's website
Dr. Ellison McNutt's website
The Kilham Bear Center
Conservation of the Laetoli Footprints - a talk by Dr. Charles Musiba
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Unesco World Heritage Site

Survey and Discovering Us giveaway

Click here to take our short audience survey, and you could win one of three free copies of Discovering Us: 50 Great Discoveries in Human Origins by Evan Hadingham.

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and educational outreach.

Support this show and the science we talk about. Your donations will be matched by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. 

Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation's web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream on the first and third Thursdays of every month.

This episode was produced and sound designed by Ray Pang. Our editor is Audrey Quinn. Theme music by Henry Nagle. Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions and Lee Roservere.