Archaeologist Mary Leakey Gets 100th Birthday Google Doodle

By  |  0 Comments

Google is celebrating the 100th birthday of anthropologist and archaeologist Mary Leakey today with a homepage doodle.

Leakey is featured in the field, accompanied by her beloved dalmations. “We love that her dogs made the cut!” the Leakey Foundation said today.

“In this Doodle, I wanted to highlight Leakey’s work in the most charming way possible,” wrote Doodler Betsy Bauer. “I began by focusing on her discovery of the fossilized Proconsul skull, but ultimately decided to depict a scene of her excavation of the Laetoli footprints. As a fun touch, I included her pet dalmatians, whom are often included in old photographs of Leakey.”

Among Leakey’s most notable discoveries is a hominid skull found in 1959. The skull, initially named Zinjanthropus bosei, “was dated to 1.75 million years ago, and that radically changed the concept of the timeline of human evolution,” the Leakey Foundation said.

Mary Leakey

In 1961, Leakey also found a large brained hominid. But her biggest discovery came in the late 70s, when “about 30 miles south of the Olduvai Gorge at a site called Laetoli, Mary and her team found amazingly well-preserved hominid footprints in volcanic beds, known as tuffs.” The footprints likely belonged to the species Australopithecus afarensis, who lived some 2.9 to 3.5 million years ago.

The foundation is soliciting donations in honor of Leakey’s birthday. Those who donate $100 or more to the Leakey Foundation will receive a foundation keyring, annual subscriptions to AnthroQuest and Evolutionary Anthropology, and discounts on tickets to lectures and events.

The site is also offering 59 percent off everything in its online store in honor of the 1959 discovery of Zinjanthropus boisei. Use the code “HAPPYBDAYMARY.”

For more of Google’s doodles, see the slideshow below. Recently, the company has honored Frank Zamboni, the first computer programmer Ada Lovelace, Amelia Earhart, as well as artist Keith Haring, zipper pioneer Gideon Sundback, and even commemorated its own 14th birthday with a birthday cake doodle.


By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag


Leave a Reply