Anthropology Paleontology

Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of humans and their cultures and societies.

- Anthropologists study how human beings relate to other species and their ancestors.

Paleontology

Paleontology is the study of fossils and prehistoric life.

-Paleontologists try to determine human origin and human links to prehistoric life through the study of fossils.

Jane Goodall

Born on April 3, 1934, Jane Goodall is a famous anthropologist and primatologist who is known for her study of chimpanzees in Tanzania. As a child, Goodall decided that she wanted to go to Africa after reading The Story of Dr. Doolittle. Sent on an assignment by Louis Leaky, Goodall travelled to Gombe Stream National Park to study chimpanzees in an effort to look at early humans by observing the great apes. Her work impacted biology by providing extensive research on human life and origins during the prehistoric era.

Mary Leaky

Born on February 6, 1913, Mary Leakey was introduced into paleontology when she served as an illustrator for a dig in England. As the daughter of an artist, Leakey's talent was remarkable, and she applied this skill to scientific illustration. It was during one of these jobs that she met Louis Leakey, and the two were married. Becoming one of the most famous husband-wife duos, the Leakeys began excavating the Olduvai Gorge. During this time, the Leakeys unearthed many prehistoric tools and artifacts, which allowed major advancements to take place in the study of human origins and life.

Raymond Dart

Born on February 4, 1893, Raymond Dart was the son of an Australian cattle farmer. He attended university in Queensland and Sydney, pursuing higher education at the University of London. During WWI, Dart served in the Medical Corps, afterwards becoming an anatomy professor at the University of Witwatersrand. in 1924, Dart noticed a child's skull among some unique fossils of what were thought to be apes. It turned out to be the first of its kind, providing another link between modern and prehistoric humans. Raymond Dart's discovery allowed anthropologists to further understand human origins and provided a link in the quest to trace human history.