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.
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 is entirely in Spanish. We’ll be back with an English-language episode in October.
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. It has the oldest human in Europe, the first murder in the archaeological record, and fossils that tell a range of stories from disturbing and grisly to tender and heartwarming.
Custodian 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 care of her and all of our Ethiopian fossil ancestors and relatives.
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.
Read more about Julie Lesnik's work and check out her book Edible Insects and Human Evolution.
Follow her on Twitter: @JulieLesnik
Want to try some edible insects?
Here are a few places we recommend:
Looking for recipes?
Julie Lesnik's "Insect Bake-Off" recipes
Chef-created recipes from the New York Times
Recipes from "The Bug Chef"
We've set up a voicemail line and we'd love to hear from you! Call us at (707)788-8582 to let us know how you're doing and if there is anything you'd like to hear on this podcast.
The Leakey Foundation
Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation.
Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate to donate today! Every donation will be matched.
Host and Producer: Meredith Johnson
Editor: Audrey Quinn
Theme Music: Henry Nagle
Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys" and music from Blue Dot Sessions.
This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Diana McSherry, Jeanne Newman, Camilla Smith, and donors like you!
We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!
If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.
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 forest home and their unique culture.
Tribes Old and New
What happens when bows and arrows and face-to-face conversations are replaced by high powered weapons and cell phones practically overnight? Dr. Polly Wiessner is an anthropologist who has studied the Enga of Papua New Guinea for 30 years and her current research is focused on how traditional societies cope with rapid cultural change.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Thoughtful, deep stories that are always full of discovery and surprise.
Highly recommend to every hominin
I highly enjoy this podcast for engaging topics throughout paleoanthropology, diverse perspectives in the displine and keeping current with new discoveries. As a teaching assistant, I recommend this to all of my students and even assign extra credit for those who want to learn more outside of the classroom. I recommend this for everyone intresed in what makes us human.
My favorite episode is still the Rising Star ep.