Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey (Kenya, August 7, 1903 - October 1, 1972) was a British archaeologist and paleontologist whose work in Africa very much contributed to the understanding of human evolution on that continent.
Leakey was born and raised in Kenya. During his childhood he lived around African hunters, with whom he played when he was little and from whom he learned later what hunt.He also learned to walk with the distinctive pass of the Kikuyu and speak their language as fluently as he spoke English . When he was 13, he discovered by chance a number of stone implements — this began his lifelong passion for prehistory.
He studied at the Cambridge University, where he graduated in 1926 . In the Olduvai Gorge and on the Rusinga Island he discovered several human skeletons and protomenselijke (or parts thereof), with which a clear picture emerged of the early family tree of humanity. Among his many special discoveries belongedZinjanthropus, ' ' (in 1959), a solid humanoid whose existence is an indication for the enormous complexity of the evolutionary background of the people.
A large portion of Leakey's legacy consists of the role he played in inciting more field work in the study of primates in their natural environments; Leakey regarded this kind of research as the key to solving the mysteries round human evolution. To this end, chose Leakey three female researchers – later known as "Leakey's Angels" – that every man for himself from would grow to big names in Primatology. Jane Goodall In1957 was the first of the three, when its first field study of chimpanzees and their culture began in the Tanzanian Gombe Stream National Park. Dian FosseyIn 1967 followed, which committed to the research on themountain gorillas in Rwanda Virungavulkanen . And Biruté Galdikas added in 1971 to join the three, when she began a study of orangutans in the jungle of Borneo.
Leakey was married to Mary Leakey, which is probably the greatest discovery in the history of paleontology did: the Laetoli footprints. Preserved in volcanic ash in Tanzania, are the earliest known traces of bipedal progress by Humanoids.
Leakey was also the father of Paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey and the grandfather of the paleontologist Louise Leakey, wife of Prince Emmanuel de Merode. Leakey's cousin, Rea Leakey, was a British tank commander during the Second World War.