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NOVA; Becoming Human: Birth Of Humanity


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Becoming Human: Birth Of Humanity
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Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

In gripping forensic detail, the second show in "Becoming Human" investigates the first skeleton that really looks like us—"Turkana Boy"—an astonishingly complete specimen of Homo erectus found by the famous Leakey team in Kenya. These ancestors are thought to have developed many key innovations such as hunting, use of fire, and extensive social bonds. NOVA examines a theory that it was long-distance running—our ability to jog—that was not only crucial for the survival of these early hominids on grasslands filled with vicious predators but also gave them a unique hunting strategy: chasing and running down prey animals such as deer or antelope to the point of exhaustion. "Turkana Boy" also marks the first time in human evolution that there is strong evidence of an extended period of childhood and parenting. As anthropologist and primatologist Sarah Hrdy explains, "This prolonged childhood is one of the most distinctive features of human society, sharply different from that of chimps." New analyses of fossil bones and teeth are giving us direct evidence of how, why, and when humans' uniquely long childhood and parenting began and how the empathy of the family bond got started and why it proved vital.

Working Title: Human Origins



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Broadcast program

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Chicago: “NOVA; Becoming Human: Birth Of Humanity,” 10/16/2009, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 24, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F828524A41134DD9ADF49126DE603CD7.
MLA: “NOVA; Becoming Human: Birth Of Humanity.” 10/16/2009. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 24, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F828524A41134DD9ADF49126DE603CD7>.
APA: NOVA; Becoming Human: Birth Of Humanity. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F828524A41134DD9ADF49126DE603CD7
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