The Life & Discoveries of Mary Leakey Celebrated in an Endearing Cutout Animation

“Over half a century, Mary Leakey labored under the hot African sun, scratching in the dirt for clues to early human physical and cultural evolution. Scientists in her field said she set the standards for documentation and excavation in paleolithic archeology. They spoke of hers as a life of enviable achievement.” That’s how The New York Times started its 1996 obituary for Mary Leakey, “matriarch of the famous fossil-hunting family in Africa whose own reputation in paleoanthropology soared with discoveries of bones, stone tools and the footprints of early human ancestors.”

Above, you can watch the Timesnewly-released cutout animation, celebrating her life and paleoanthropology work in eastern Africa. The endearing seven-minute film covers her discovery of Proconsul africanus in 1948, Zinjanthropus boisei in 1959, Homo habilis in 1960, and the trail of early human footprints found at Laetoli in the mid-1970s. The film also features something you’ll likely never see elsewhere — people throwing elephant dung frisbees! Enjoy.

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