Oldest Human Footprints With Modern Anatomy Found

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 26, 2009   View Article

About 1.5 million years ago, human ancestors walked upright with a spring in their steps just as modern humans do today, suggests an analysis of ancient footprints found in northern Kenya.

The prints are the oldest known to show modern foot anatomy.

The discovery also helps round out the picture of a cooling and drying episode in Africa that compelled tree-dwelling human ancestors to venture into the open landscape for food, said John Harris, a paleoanthropologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Kenyan Fossils May Add New Branch to Human Family Tree

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 8, 2007   View Article

A pair of fossils recently discovered in Kenya is challenging the straight-line story of human evolution.

Traditional evolutionary theories of the genus Homo suggest a successive progression: Homo habilis gave rise to Homo erectus, which then begat modern humans, Homo sapiens.

Lions Making a Comeback on Kenya Ranches

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 10, 2007   View Article

Conservation efforts on a ranch in southern Kenya have led to an “extremely encouraging” rebound in the lion population there, an African predator expert said.

The positive trend is a bright spot in an otherwise dismal situation for lions in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, said Laurence Frank, a wildlife biologist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Lion Killings Spur Fears of Regional Extinction in Kenya

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 22, 2006   View Article

Lions may soon be obliterated from southern Kenya, unless immediate steps are taken to rein in their slaughter, wildlife experts warn.

“Ten years ago there used to be lions everywhere. You’d hear lions at night, find their tracks during the day. That simply is not true anymore,” said Laurence Frank, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and an expert on African predators.

Hippo and Tortoise May Find Three’s a Crowd

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 5, 2006   View Article

The strength of a unique male bond between a young hippopotamus and a 130-year-old tortoise will be tested later this spring when conservation workers introduce a female hippo to the mix.

The pending introduction serves as an intriguing plot twist to the unlikely story of a hippo and tortoise brought together at Haller Park wildlife sanctuary in Mombasa, Kenya, in the wake of the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami.

Man Eating Lions Risk Extinction As Farmers Take Arms

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 11, 2005   View Article

The lions of the greater Tsavo region in southeastern Kenya have a long history of conflict with humans. Most famously, two lions killed and ate more than 130 railroad workers during a nine-month rampage in 1898.

Today humans do most of the killing, persecuting the carnivores in retaliation for their raids on livestock. Roland Kays, the curator of mammals at the New York State Museum in Albany, says that if the trend continues and escalates, these African lions may face extinction.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach