The Turkana Basin if famous for preserving the fossilized remains of our bipedal ancestors. But, there are more than fossil hominins in the rocks piled up around Lake Turkana. The remains of horses, pigs, fish, hyaenas, and hippos (lots of hippos) also tumble from the rock, providing the ecological and environmental context for the evolution of our own lineage.
Our guide through the extinct and evolving African ecosystem is Dr. Mikael Fortelius from the University of Helsinki. He has worked on many projects across Europe and Asia and is just beginning to explore the vertebrate record in east Africa. Throughout the course, Dr. Meave Leakey worked with the students as well. She has spent her entire career focused on the evolution of African faunas over the last 10 million years. So, we got to watch two new scientific collaborators share their knowledge and insights with one another in real time as each gained new insights from the others unique store of paleontological knowledge.