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Contact: Diane Ainsworth
(510) 643-6259

WHAT: "Footprints from the Past," a new anthropology exhibit at the Oakland Zoo designed by a team of anthropologists from the University of California, Berkeley. The exhibit showcases 4 million years of human evolution and an actual "footpath" of the first hominids to emerge from the African savanna.  
WHEN: The exhibit begins Saturday, July 15, and is open that day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. After July 15, the exhibit will be open daily throughout the year from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  
WHERE: The Kikuyu Hut at the zoo, which is at 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland.  
WHO: Dr. Burton Benedict, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of anthropology and an expert in human evolution, designed the new exhibit, along with fellow UC Berkeley physical anthropologists Drs. Tim D. White and Clark Howell of the Integrative Biology Department within UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.  

THE EXHIBIT: The exhibit features casts of early hominid skulls dating back 3.7 million years, along with the teeth and bones of contemporary mammals living in the African savanna and the Veldt desert regions of the continent.

Visitors will be able to stand in clay replicas of early hominid footprints, such as Ramapithecus, Homo habilus and Homo erectus, and compare their own feet to those of a close relative, the chimpanzee, and an 11-year-old girl. Other displays trace mankind's early bipedal evolution in Africa's Great Rift Valley, home to the oldest known human species, popularized by the discovery of a nearly complete skeleton named "Lucy".


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