Fred Whiteman

Humans perform altruistic acts without apparent benefit, and are less hairy than a typical mammal.
Albuquerque, NM

Educators Guide

We encourage teachers and other educators to bring classes and student groups to the Hall of Human Origins, and we have provided this Educators Guide to the exhibition specifically to help you facilitate your field trip. THIS GUIDE IS A FREE, DOWNLOADABLE, PRINTABLE PDF.

We will have volunteers and (at some times) interactive discover stations in the hall to add to the educational experiences in the exhibition.

Please be aware that there are life-sized nude bronze statues of early humans in the exhibition.

Kevin Danchisko

To be human is to love and hate, to be empathetic and ignorant, and to live rationally and irrationally.

Francis Grice

To be human is to be both the epicentre of the universe and just one of billions of tiny ants scurrying around an obscure rock in space.
London, UK

For Students

We're excited to hear that so many of you are interested in a career in paleoanthropology. There are many different ways to work toward a degree in anthropology and many different branches of the field to study. Cultural, physical, and linguistic anthropology and archeology are the four usual branches of anthropology, and most colleges or universities will give you an introduction to all fields and perhaps allow you to concentrate in one. Studying anthropology is popular among undergraduates, and many schools offer major and minor programs.

Climate Effects on Human Evolution

Early human faces and environments

This article explores the hypothesis that key human adaptations evolved in response to environmental instability.  This idea was developed during research conducted by Dr. Rick Potts of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program.  Natural selection was not always a matter of ‘survival of the fittest’ but also survival of those most adaptable to changing surroundings.

Why do we get goose bumps?

The body hair of all mammals automatically stands up when cold, creating a fluffy layer of warmth. When we’re cold, the muscles around the hair follicles contract – a reflex left over from when our ancestors had long body hair. But since we don’t have much body hair, all we see are the goose bumps on our skin.

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