Richard Leakey, the Kenyan paleontologist who discovered the main evidence that Africa was the birthplace of humanity, has died at the age of 77. A respected paleontologist and conservationist, Leakey was the son of paleontologist legends Louis and Mary Leakey. From the New York Times:
One of his most famous discoveries came in 1984 when he helped unearth the “Turkana Boy,” a 1.6 million-year-old skeleton of a young man. standing man. The other was a skull called “1470”, found in 1972, which expanded the world’s knowledge of standing man The species is several million years deeper in the past.
“He has been a mentor to dozens of Africans in diverse fields and has played a major role in shaping the world’s view of Africa’s place in the story of human evolution,” the organization WildlifeDirect, which he founded, said in a statement on Sunday.
“He has had equally influential careers in many different fields,” [Lawrence Martin, director of Stony Brook University’s Turkana Basin Institute, which Leakey founded,] Adding that Mr. Leakey “may have been responsible for producing nearly half of the world’s evidence of human evolution”.
Mr. Leakey was also a passionate conservationist with a fiery personality. In 1989, he drew international attention when he took a stand against the ivory trade by helping to burn the country’s stockpile of 12 tons of ivory. The process was repeated in 2016.
Top photo: Stony Brook University press release/Turkana Basin Institute