Segments in this Video

Origin of Man: African Research (05:43)


The search for mankind's origins takes place in Africa. Hominids were similar to man. Homo sapiens are the sole survivors of that species. When did man turn human? Fossil hunters seek answers.

Hominid Fossils (04:41)

Friedemann Schrenk studies hominid fossils in the Nairobi Museum. Fossils are kept in a bombproof safe. Louis and Mary Leakey discover remains of a new type of man extinct for 1.5 million years.

Leakeys and Hominid Fossil Finds (04:48)

Richard Leakey argues that man and apes have a common ancestor. Meave Leakey successfully digs for signs of primitive man at Lake Turkana. Ancient teeth are the most frequently found fossils.

Paleoanthropologists at Work (04:11)

Finding fossils requires systematic work. The Leakeys have a well-equipped, hospitable camp. They work for the Kenya National Museum. Students pay to work in the Leakey's camp.

Mankind's Origins and Ancestors (04:07)

Paleoanthropologists differ on the precise ancestors of mankind. Early hominids had huge teeth to feed on plants. Meave Leakey compares fossils to find size and gender differentiations.

Geology and Paleoanthropology (04:25)

Individual stages of human evolution are hard to distinguish. Paleoanthropologists have vast knowledge of geology. Meave Leakey studies ancient sediment layers millions of years old.

Searching for Hominid Fossils (04:25)

Fossils from the Wit-Watersrand area are stored in Nairobi. Friedemann Schrenk finds a thick hominid tooth. Finding fossils is a combination of diligent work and blind luck.

Hominid Habitats on the Serengeti (04:01)

Friedemann Schrenk visits ancient hominid habitats on the Serengeti. Hominids lived with great danger and adapted much better than mankind could today. Hyenas competed with hominids for food.

Oldest Hominid in South Africa (04:25)

Meave Leakey visits Wit-Watersrand University to study other fossil finds. Asfaw, Brunet, and other prominent paleoanthropologists gather together. They see the oldest hominid fossil fragment.

From Hominid to Homo Sapiens (04:13)

Hominids appeared five million years ago. Dr. White believes the same brain that evolved can help solve the problems of that evolution. The Homo sapiens species is only 100,000 years old.

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History of the Anthropoid: The Search for the Beginning

Part of the Series : The Story of Hominid Evolution
DVD Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Curiosity is often the driving force behind great discoveries. In this program, Friedemann Schrenk teams up with Meave Leakey to examine fossil specimens recovered at Lake Turkana, Lothagam, and Kanapoi, where they discuss the relationships between Australopithicus afarensis, A. boisei, and Homo habilis. Dr. Schrenk also visits the Nairobi Museum, the Anatomical Institute in Dar es Salaam, and Norongoro National Park. In addition, a meeting at Witwatersrand University to analyze recent findings brings Schrenk and Leakey together with a veritable who’s who of paleoanthropology: Phillip Tobias, Tim White, Berhane Asfaw, and Michel Brunet. (46 minutes)

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL7273

ISBN: 978-0-7365-7858-5

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

"Top-drawer documentary.... Highly recommended."—Video Librarian

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Only available in USA and Canada.