Our Origins Field School students observe a pack of African wild dogs at Mpala Research Centre in the Laikipia region of central Kenya.
Stony Brook University professor John J. Shea recently published a new work through Cambridge University Press entitled Stone Tools in Human Evolution: Behavioral Differences among Technological Primates. From the publisher's description: In Stone Tools in Human Evolution, John J. Shea argues that over the last three million years hominins' technological strategies shifted from occasional tool use, [...]
The next morning in class, we were introduced to archaeological vocabulary, necessary to accurately understand and describe stone artefacts. We learned how to describe the physical characteristics, such as: ventral (internal) and dorsal (external) sides of a flake; cortex, or the external skin of the original rock; and negatives (signs of a flake removal) and positives [...]
After learning about the primary producers (vegetation) and their primary consumers (herbivores), we moved on to discuss those animals higher up the food chain. Carnivores play crucial roles in ecological systems – they keep prey species’ populations in check, allowing for natural regenerating of grazed areas on the landscape. They also cull sick animals to [...]
The Turkana ecosystem is home to a wide range of species, including many different kinds of insects. One of the challenges of understanding biodiversity is the fact that many species have not yet been classified, and are in general poorly known or studied. This is true for most of the remote, tropical areas of the [...]
We had a high profile visit a few weeks ago at TBI-Turkwel and TBI-Ileret by the Deputy President William Ruto, Dr. Hassan Wario, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Sports, the Governor of the Turkana County, Governor Nanok and several senior government officials. The visit was at the invitation of Richard Leakey. They visitors arrived by helicopter in [...]
In Kenya, rain is a blessing. It is something to celebrate if you have rain on your wedding day. If rain is a blessing, then nature wanted to shower the last few days at the Turkana Basin Institute with signs that this was a blessed experience. As Dr. Matt Skinner from University College [...]
The Pleistocene is sometimes called the Ice Age, but ice was as rare 2 million years ago as it is today in the Turkana Basin. Instead the glaciers in the north caused the deserts and arid grasslands to expand as the ice advanced and the expansion of the forests when the ice retreated. Our early [...]