Donald Carl Johanson
Johanson, Donald Carl (1943– ), U.S. anthropologist. His discovery of fossilized remains in Africa, estimated to be between 2.5 and 3 million years old, gave scientists evidence of some of the earliest origins of the human species. In 1974 Johanson uncovered the skeleton of what is believed to be the first humanlike creature to walk erect (classified as Australopithecus afarensis). In 1986 he found a skull and bones of an individual of the species Homo habilis, enabling scientists to piece together a link between humans and their ape-like predecessors.