Origin Stories

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 26m. Bisher sind 61 Folge(n) erschienen. Dieser Podcast erscheint alle 4 Wochen.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 1 day 5 hours 6 minutes


Monkeys Get Creative

Producer and scientist Kevin McLean travels to an island off the coast of Panama where researchers have found an isolated group of monkeys with a creative approach to surviving in a challenging environment.


 2021-07-07  22m

The Obstetrical Dilemma

The widely-held idea known as the “obstetrical dilemma” is a hypothesis that explains why babies are so helpless, and why childbirth is so difficult for humans compared to other animals.  The obstetrical dilemma suggests that babies are born...


 2021-06-04  34m

Sleep and the Moon

Sleep is one of the defining traits of human life. It's also one of the most mysterious. Dr. Horacio de la Iglesia is a neurobiologist who's on a quest to understand how patterns of human sleep evolved. His new research shows an unexpected connection...


 2021-05-07  28m

How to Study an Endangered Species

What is it like to study an endangered species like chimpanzees, knowing they may go extinct within your lifetime? Leakey Foundation grantee Dr. Zarin Machanda is a co-director of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, a long-term field study in Uganda. This...


 2021-03-27  28m

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...


 2021-03-02  20m

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...


 2020-12-31  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