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.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Creepy Cut Out Ani­ma­tion of Samuel Beckett’s 1953 Nov­el, The Unnam­able

Ter­ry Gilliam Reveals the Secrets of Mon­ty Python Ani­ma­tions: A 1974 How-To Guide

The Adven­tures of Famed Illus­tra­tor Gus­tave Doré Pre­sent­ed in a Fantasic(al) Cutout Ani­ma­tion

Spike Jonze Presents a Stop Motion Film for Book Lovers


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