63 episodes

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.

Origin Stories The Leakey Foundation

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 324 Ratings

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.

    Biruté Mary Galdikas - 50 Years with Orangutans

    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 of all the great apes, the elusive orangutan. People told her it would be impossible. But, in 1971, she traveled to Borneo and started what is now the longest ongoing study of orangutans in the history of science. This is her story.

    • 33 min
    Entre Chien et Loup: How Dogs Began

    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, Origin Stories contributor Neil Sandell examines the evolution of the relationship between dogs and humans, and explores the journey from wolf to dog.

    • 54 min
    Short and Sweat

    Short and Sweat

    Learn about the evolution of our extraordinary ability to cool ourselves down. Biological anthropologist Andrew Best discusses the past, present, and future of sweat in this special bonus episode.

    • 17 min
    Monkeys Get Creative

    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.

    • 22 min
    The Obstetrical Dilemma

    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 early so their big brains can fit through the mother’s pelvis, which can’t get any wider due to our method of bipedal locomotion. This problem, the idea says, is solved by an evolutionary tradeoff that increases risks to pregnant mothers who must struggle to birth bigger and bigger-brained babies through narrow birth canals.  
    On this episode, Leakey Foundation grantees Dr. Holly Dunsworth and Dr. Anna Warrener describe their search for the evidence behind the obstetrical dilemma and they discuss the importance of the stories we tell about our bodies.
    Send us your questions!
    Have a question about human evolution? Something you've always wondered about? We will find a scientist to answer it on a special episode of Origin Stories!
    There are three ways to submit your question:
    Leave a voicemail at (707) 788-8582 Visit speakpipe.com/originstories and leave a message Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to us at originstories@leakeyfoundation.org Links
    The Mermaid's Tale
    A Most Interesting Problem
    There is no 'obstetrical dilemma': towards a braver medicine with fewer chilbirth interventions
    Metabolic hypothesis for human altriciality
    A Wider Pelvis Does Not Increase Locomotor Cost in Humans, with Implications for the Evolution of Childbirth
    The obstetrical dilemma hypothesis: there's life in the old dog yet
    YouTube - Close up video of chimp childbirth
    The Leakey Foundation
    Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach.
    All donations to support the podcast will be quadruple-matched thanks to Jeanne Newman and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate and use the notes field let us know your donation is in support of Origin Stories.
    Thanks to Lynn and Larry Schafran for sponsoring this episode. We are grateful for their support of The Leakey Foundation and our educational programs.
    Lunch Break Science
    Lunch Break Science is The Leakey Foundation's web series featuring short talks and interviews with Leakey Foundation grantees. Episodes stream live on the first and third Thursdays of every month. Sign up for event reminders and watch past episodes at leakeyfoundation.org/live

    • 34 min
    Sleep and the Moon

    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 between sleep and the cycles of the moon.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
324 Ratings

324 Ratings

sciencepyar ,

Love this

Very inspirational

ginnibug70 ,

I’m in love!

Insanely Awesome!!!! Can’t express how great this podcast is.

Bran L K ,

Fantastic podcast!

Great podcast! Highly recommended!

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