Mary Leakey was an English-born paleontologist and archaeologist who spent her life studying fossils of extinct apes in Africa. Her findings helped develop our modern understanding of the origins of the human species. She often worked alongside her husband, Louis Leakey.
Recognition of Contributions
In the 1960s, the Leakeys discovered a fossil skull of Homo Habilis, a new species of humans, and helped popularize the search for human origins in Africa. The couple worked together for over thirty years, but Mary’s work was often overshadowed by her outspoken husband. After his death, Mary emerged in her own right, independently making several groundbreaking fossil discoveries that changed our interpretation of human evolution.