Origin Stories

What makes us human? How are we different from chimpanzees? Who are our earliest ancestors and how do we know? Origin Stories is The Leakey Foundation’s podcast about how we became human. This award-winning show combines science and narrative to explore our human story and explain why we are the way we are. Listen and explore human evolution one story at a time.


Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 25m. Bisher sind 57 Folge(n) erschienen. Dieser Podcast erscheint alle 4 Wochen.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 1 day 3 hours 12 minutes


The Teeth Remember

Your life story is hidden in your teeth. The days, weeks, years, and stressful events of your life are recorded in tiny timelines that can be read by scientists like Leakey Foundation grantee Dr. Tanya Smith. She and her colleagues used fossil teeth...



Understanding Neanderthals

Early prehistorians had little more than stones and bones to work with as they tried to piece together the story of the Neanderthals, but today’s researchers work in ways that early prehistorians could never have imagined. Archaeologist and author...


 2021-02-01  43m


If exercise is healthy, why do so many people avoid doing it? If we're born to be active, why is it so hard to keep your New Year's resolutions about exercise? On this episode, learn about the powerful instincts that cause us to avoid exercise even...


 2021-01-01  36m

Ancestor (rerelease)

In 2017, Dr. Isaiah Nengo announced the discovery of a 13 million-year-old fossil ape found in Kenya. This remarkable fossil, nicknamed Alesi, was from a time period where there’s a big blank spot in the fossil record of our family tree. Alesi tells...


 2020-11-27  25m


Leakey Foundation grantee Dr. Nina Jablonski explains the evolution of human skin color and discusses some of the ways that harmful color-based race concepts have influenced societies and impacted social well-being.


 2020-11-03  1h7m

Interview with María Martinón-Torres

September 30 is International Podcast Day and on this episode, we’re handing things over to producer Lucía Benavides, who sat down with Leakey Foundation grantee María Martinón-Torres for an interview about her life and career. This bonus episode...


 2020-09-30  9m

episode 50: Detective of the Dead

Atapuerca is a place that holds the mystery of human evolution in Europe from 1.2 million years ago through recent times. You can find, in one place, the oldest human in Europe, the first murder in the archaeological record, and fossils that tell a...


 2020-08-30  40m

Episode 44: Keeper of the Ancestors

What is it like to be responsible for the safekeeping of the ancestors of everyone in the world? In this episode, we travel to the National Museum of Ethiopia to see our most famous fossil relative – Lucy, and meet Yared Assefa, the person who takes...


 2020-08-01  33m

Episode 43: We Eat Bugs

Have you ever considered how profoundly food has shaped who we are as a species? Julie Lesnik is a paleoanthropolgist who studies the evolution of the human diet. Her special focus is on insects as food in the past, present, and the future. ...


 2020-05-29  28m

episode 42: Episode 42: The Cave Punan

Deep in the forests of Borneo, lives a society of hunter-gatherers who speak a language never before shared with outsiders. Until now. The Cave Punan are the last surviving hunter-gatherers in Indonesia and they have reached out for help to save their...


 2020-04-08  34m