Discovering Us podcast

Unexpected Ardi

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In this episode, Ashley Judd tells the story of the discovery of a fascinating fossil of a female that lived 4.4-million-years ago. This unexpected find opened up a new window into the very early evolution of the human species.

Further reading

About The Leakey Foundation

The Leakey Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and sharing discoveries. The Foundation was established in 1968 to fund work at the forefront of fossil and primate studies and provide opportunities for a global community of scientists. Learn more at

Discovering Us: 50 Great Discoveries in Human Origins

In 50 lively and up-to-the-minute essays illustrated with full-color photographs, Discovering Us: 50 Great Discoveries in Human Origins presents stories of the most exciting and groundbreaking surprises revealed by human origins research.

Prepared in consultation with leading experts and written by Evan Hadingham, senior science editor for NOVA, Discovering Us features stunning photographs, some taken at the actual moment that groundbreaking discoveries were made. The book presents a highly accessible account of the latest scientific insights into the ultimate question of humanity’s origins. Discovering Us was published by Signature Books.

Find Discovering Us at your local library, bookstore, or

Show Credits:

  • Narrated by Ashley Judd
  • Hosted by Meredith Johnson
  • Written by Evan Hadingham
  • Script edits by Sharal Camisa Smith and Meredith Johnson
  • Recorded and mixed by Dave Hagen, Dark Horse Recording
  • Host recording by Kerry Fogarty
  • Trailer produced by Ray Pang
  • Cover art by Élisabeth Daynes
  • Cover design by Jason Francis, Signature Books
  • Music “Ode to Seven” by Our Many Stars licensed from Marmoset Music

Discovering Us was made possible by generous support from Camilla and George Smith, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, and the Joan and Arnold Travis Education Fund.


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