The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins celebrated its first birthday yesterday! Even our bronze sculptures joined in the celebration, like the picture of the Neanderthal mother and child at right. In honor of the exhibit’s first birthday, we ran a human-evolution-themed haiku and limerick contest on our Human Origins facebook and twitter accounts. Below are all the contest entries, including our four winners (listed at the top) who will each get a copy of the exhibit companion book “What Does It Mean To Be Human?" signed by exhibit curator, Dr. Rick Potts!
extant hands digging
reveal bits of extinct bone
cradle an ancestor
There once was a man from Neander
Who often liked to meander
He had flatter feet,
and couldn't compete,
with Homo sapiens' delusions of grandeur.
Dark skull-eyes haunt me
did you hear the eagle strike
Taung Child so long dead?
There once was a man named Svante
whose sequencing was muy elegante.
When he examined the code
For the saucy story it told--
a Neanderthal is more than my Aunty.
Her breath takes flight
Deep unearthed sigh
There once was a boy from Turkana
who wasn’t as swift as the fauna.
But because he could sweat,
he kept the antelopes upset
and became a marathon runner.
A toothy young biped from Old’vai
Is now Paranthropus boisei.
Tho’ his body seems small,
His mandible’s tall
The crested, broad-faced OH 5.
Matthew Berger a young man spawned from an amoeba
Thought he would be like his dad and not Justin Bieber
He found some old bones
While clearing some stones.
Holy Cow! Australopithecus sediba!
There once was a planet called Earth...
and intelligence, O what a dearth.
But wildly variable seasons
provided plenty of reasons
for a habile hominid's birth.
Humanity is hominids
walking around in
He’s muscular, thick-browed, and hairy
His demeanor is savage and scary
A Neanderthal, or
Is it just Jersey Shore?
Sure, we’re different, but really, not very.
The Neanderthal’s cranial ridge
Was a Cainial sign of orig
Inal sin, and the Ark
Kept him off for this mark.
(If you think that, I’ll sell you a bridge.)
A Neanderthal asked me to tea
To discuss our tall family tree.
He asked, "This srectus --
Does anything connect us?"
"You're both Homos," I said, "just like me!"
A young Mitochondrial Eve
Was the mother to all, we believe;
Is still with us today
A remarkable feat to achieve!
There once was a critter named “Hobbit”.
But Eckhardt told Tocheri to stop it.
It’s pathological you see,
your colored bones won’t fool me.
But for most, a new species they posit.
consider the opening:
As we look at our similar shape
A conclusion that few can escape
(Save a few who still try
To believe in a lie):
It is clear, now, that man is an ape
A tiny young lady named Lucy
Wanted to eat something juicy
Her descendants include Gary Busey
gut reduces, brain expands
take a walk with me
Fire with us tonight:
Tasty food and we sleep warm -
How do we keep it?
Glimmering lights above are
Yet to be noticed
Who was first meat eater?
Yay! Big Brains for all.
Questions Need Answers.
What Makes You and I Human?
Just Go Ask Lucy!
It's Not About Size.
Chants Homo floresiensis
There once was a hominin name Lucy,
who walked across savanna bipedally.
In East Africa she did roam,
maybe a cousin or so to Homo.
From 3 million years past,
to Don Johanson’s hands fast,
her fossil informs evolutionary history.
There once was an amoeba called ken.
Who grew and then grew again.
All at once he began to walk like a man
Ken winked as he vowed the Higgs Boson would never be found and smiled as he teleported away away
Lucy stood upright,
Then human learned to use tools.
Now we tweet poems.
Lived in the Olduvai Gorge,
Handy with stone tools.
Our brains are shrinking
Possibly just efficient
There once was a chap named Potts
Looking for Hominids in all the different plots
He works with Dr. Pobiner
And they search here and there but moreover,
We like them as much as a ten year old likes tater tots.
A red-headed German named William
lived to tell his people he's Liam
he evolved bi-pedal
loves to strum his fiddle
but only the Irish can see him.
Darwin, said he, from apes
But what of in-between states?
Unique are we? One since bipedality?
We seek to know; We hope to show
And now impact our fate
Proud and bipedal
Tools - my source of power
Grateful for my thumbs
The walking upright stomach
And a big brain too
small pearly teeth
a spark of fire
'Bout the time of Neanderthal Man,
Our progress in science began--
We took off right from there
And soon flew in the air--
Now the Right wants us back on the land.
there once was a girl,
named suzanna, who had zee,
not a banana
Oozing from a primordial swamp
Slithering across dry land
Walking in the shadow of giants
As Nelda grows older, she firmly maintains:
"Erectus was first to leave Africa's plains!"
No, she won't back down easy
When you mention Dmanisi
Oh, and don't get her started on Hobbit brains!
There's a family called Hominidae
Whose tree grows in some crazy way
Over details all night
But we know we're all kin anyway