Reconsidering the Origins of Homo sapiens, with Natalia Reagan

“Excavators working at the Jebel Irhoud site in Morocco. The fossils were found in sediments in front of where the excavators on the left are working.” Credit: Shannon McPherron, MPI EVA Leipzig (License: CC-BY-SA 2.0)

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Homo sapiens: Who are we? Where did we come from? What does our evolutionary puzzle look like? The recent fossil findings in Jebel Irhoud provide enticing details on the origins of Homo sapiens and primatologist Natalia Reagan, comic co-host Sarah Siskind, and paleoanthropologist Shara Bailey are back to explore what the new discovery means. You’ll hear about Shara’s involvement with the find, virtual anthropology, and the complexities behind setting up a dig site. Learn about the Sahara desert and what it was like roughly 300,000 years ago. Shara explains how this new discovery effects our current understanding about the location of the cradle of life.  Explore the defining characteristics between homo sapiens and Australopithecus; you’ll also hear about what, if anything, comes after Homo sapiens. Discover more about Homo naledi: the strangeness of their teeth, whether they spent time in trees, and the “underground astronauts” that found their fossils. All that, plus the make-up of George Washington’s teeth, the history of the Jebel Irhoud dig site, and whether our trio would ever “tap” a Neanderthal!

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