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Fig. 1 – Hominid footprints in a mudpan at Laetoli, Tanzania from 3.6 million years ago were fossilized under volcanic ash.

Fig. 2 – Stratigraphic position of paleoanthropology discoveries charted in time.

‘Man-the Hunter’ is a popular hypothesis to explain human evolution. Primatologist and evolutionary anthropologist Richard Wrangham offers a counter narrative to a weapon-wielding patriarchy: Cooking food around a fire set in motion the evolutionary cascade that made us human. The reciprocal relationship between jaw and brain size is illustrated in this animation. Freed from generating compressive force to pulverize raw food, the jaw shrinks, the face flattens frontally, facial expression and speech develop, and complex social relationships emerge.

project team:

Lindy Roy with Miku Dixit