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Origin Stories
Origin Stories
The Leakey Foundation

Explore human evolution one story at a time. This award-winning show blends storytelling with science that will change your understanding of who... more

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Episodes

Understanding Neanderthals

06 Jun 2024 · 43 minutes
The Story of Human Hair

Why do humans have most of our hair on our heads, not our bodies? Why do we have so many... more

30 Apr 2024 · 35 minutes
The Musical Ape

Music is universal in all human cultures, but why? What gives us the ability to hear sound as music? Are... more

02 Apr 2024 · 26 minutes
Custodian of the Ancestors

What is it like to be responsible for the safekeeping of the ancestors of everyone in the world? In this... more

27 Feb 2024 · 32 minutes
A Brief History of Bling

Travel through 50,000 years of human history following clues hidden inside beads made from ostrich eggshells. In this episode, researchers... more

31 Jan 2024 · 26 minutes
Top Human Origins Discoveries of 2023

2023 was another exciting year in human origins research! Fossil discoveries and long-term primate studies expanded our understanding of what... more

27 Dec 2023 · 44 minutes
Siblings

Sibling relationships can include everything from love and support–to tension, competition, and conflict. They might also play a fundamental role... more

31 Oct 2023 · 30 minutes
Fatherhood

Humans invest enormous amounts of time and energy into bringing up our babies. This unique investment is a fundamental... more

26 Sep 2023 · 30 minutes
Motherhood

Humans invest enormous amounts of time and energy into bringing up our babies. This unique investment is a fundamental part... more

29 Aug 2023 · 29 minutes
Boomplaas Cave - Bonus Interview

How did climate change impact ancient human behavior? This is one of the questions Justin Pargeter and his team are... more

02 Aug 2023 · 34 minutes
Field School Diaries

This special episode takes you inside the world of archaeology students at Boomplaas Cave, one of South Africa’s flagship human... more

06 Jul 2023 · 33 minutes
The Hobbit

In this episode, we explore the fascinating tale of the Hobbit, an unexpected fossil find that shook the world's understanding... more

30 May 2023 · 30 minutes
A Giganto Mystery

Dr. Kira Westaway is part of an international research team working to solve the mystery of Gigantopithecus, the largest ape... more

28 Mar 2023 · 27 minutes
The New Metabolism

How do human bodies use energy? In this episode, Leakey Foundation grantee Dr. Herman Pontzer shares groundbreaking research that upends... more

01 Mar 2023 · 27 minutes
Top Human Origins Discoveries of 2022

2022 was another exciting year in human origins research! New fossil discoveries and ancient DNA research expanded our understanding of... more

31 Jan 2023 · 35 minutes
Origin Stories is back!

We've been hard at work on a new season of stories about how we became human. Origin Stories returns on... more

24 Jan 2023 · 1 minute
First Steps at Laetoli

In this episode, we explore five strange fossilized footprints found by Mary Leakey at the site of Laetoli in... more

17 May 2022 · 27 minutes
Discovering Us

In this episode, we talk with Evan Hadingham, senior science editor for the PBS program NOVA. His new book, Discovering... more

25 Feb 2022 · 23 minutes
Top Human Origins Discoveries of 2021

2021 was a big year in science! Fossil discoveries introduced new relatives to our family tree, new findings added fascinating... more

21 Dec 2021 · 31 minutes
Biruté Mary Galdikas - 50 Years with Orangutans

As a young girl, Biruté Mary Galdikas dreamed of going to the forests of Southeast Asia to study the least-known... more

09 Nov 2021 · 33 minutes
Entre Chien et Loup: How Dogs Began

Scientists agree that dogs evolved from wolves, but exactly how and when that happened is hotly contested. In this episode,... more

05 Oct 2021 · 54 minutes
Short and Sweat

Learn about the evolution of our extraordinary ability to cool ourselves down. Biological anthropologist Andrew Best discusses the past, present,... more

29 Sep 2021 · 17 minutes
Monkeys Get Creative

Producer and scientist Kevin McLean travels to an island off the coast of Panama where researchers have found an isolated... more

07 Jul 2021 · 22 minutes
The Obstetrical Dilemma

The widely-held idea known as the “obstetrical dilemma” is a hypothesis that explains why babies are so helpless, and why... more

04 Jun 2021 · 34 minutes
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... more

07 May 2021 · 28 minutes
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... more

27 Mar 2021 · 28 minutes
The Teeth Remember

Your life story is hidden in your teeth. The days, weeks, years, and stressful events of your life are recorded... more

02 Mar 2021 · 20 minutes
Understanding Neanderthals

Early prehistorians had little more than stones and bones to work with as they tried to piece together the story... more

01 Feb 2021 · 43 minutes
Exercise

If exercise is healthy, why do so many people avoid doing it? If we're born to be active, why is... more

31 Dec 2020 · 36 minutes
Ancestor (rerelease)

In 2017, Dr. Isaiah Nengo announced the discovery of a 13 million-year-old fossil ape found in Kenya. This remarkable fossil,... more

27 Nov 2020 · 25 minutes
Origin Stories
Short and Sweat
Origin Stories
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Listen now on

Apple Podcasts
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Podcast Addict
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Description

Learn about the evolution of our extraordinary ability to cool ourselves down. Biological anthropologist Andrew Best discusses the past, present, and future... more