Mary Leakey Biography

Mary Leakey was a British paleoanthropologist who discovered the first fossilised Proconsul skull, an extinct ape now believed to be ancestral to humans. She also discovered the robust Zinjanthropus skull at Olduvai Gorge. For much of her career she worked with her husband, Louis Leakey, in the Olduvai Gorge, in eastern Africa, uncovering the tools and fossils of ancient hominines. Leakey developed a system for classifying the stone tools found at Olduvai. She discovered the Laetoli footprints. It was here, at the Laetoli site, that she discovered Hominin fossils that were more than 3.75 million years old.

During her career, Leakey discovered fifteen new species of other animals, and one new genus.

In 1972, after the death of her husband, Leakey became director of excavation at Olduvai. She helped to establish a Leakey family tradition of palaeoanthropology by training her son, Richard, in the field. Source: Wikipedia

Biography Snapshot
Name:
Mary Leakey
Full Name:
Mary Douglas Nicol Leakey
Nationality:
United Kingdom
Profession:
Anthropologist, Archaeologist
Ethnicity:
British people
Date of Birth:
February 6, 1913
Astrological Sign:
Aquarius
Date of Death:
December 9, 1996
Age at Death:
83
Marriages
Mary Leakey Timeline
  • 1948-10-06
    Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey finds the first partial fossil skull of Proconsul africanus, an ancestor of apes and humans on Rusinga Island, Kenya.
  • 1959-07-17
    Paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey discovers the partial skull of a new species of early human ancestor, Zinjanthropus boisei or 'Zinj' (now called Paranthropus boisei) that lived in Africa almost 2 million years ago
  • 1960-11-02
    Mary Leakey and her team discover the first fossils of Homo habilis, an early human ancestor, at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Homo habilis is thought to be one of the earliest species to make stone tools and lived between 1.4 and 2.3 million years ago.
Cite this page
APA Style

Mary Leakey. (2017). The HistoryHop.com website. Retrieved 11:27pm UTC, Dec 15, 2017, from www.historyhop.com/famous-people/mary-leakey/bio.

Harvard Style

Mary Leakey. [Internet]. 2017. The HistoryHop.com website. Available from: www.historyhop.com/famous-people/mary-leakey/bio [Accessed 15 Dec 2017].

MLA Style

"Mary Leakey." Bio. The HistoryHop.com website, 2017. Web. 15 Dec 2017.

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