A family portrait for the ages

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P. Plailly / E. Daynes

An assembly of French artist Elisabeth Daynes’ reconstructions serves as a “family portrait” for living and extinct hominids. Two australopiths, nicknamed Lucy and Lucien, are in the foreground at right. A representation of the first Homo species to leave Africa raises a rock in the foreground at left. A Neanderthal family is in the far background, and Homo sapiens is represented by the bearded figure stretching out his left hand in the background at right.

French artist Elisabeth Daynes is known for her reconstructions of our long-dead cousins, ranging from [Lucy the australopith][2] to a [Neanderthal family][3] to the [“real face” of Tutankhamun][4], Egypt’s boy-king. Now she’s won the [Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize][5] for bringing those age-old cousins to life through her sculptures.

The PaleoArt Prize, one of the top honors for artwork related to paleontology, was established in 1999 by art collector John J. Lanzendorf. This year’s prize was awarded to Daynes at the annual meeting of the [Society of Vertebrate Paleontology][6] in Pittsburgh. The artist was born in the south of France, began her career as a theater makeup artist and has been creating “hyper-realistic” reconstructions of ancient creatures for more than 20 years.

The photo above gathers many of Daynes’ masterpieces together for a group portrait. To learn more about the figures, check out the [Atelier Daynes][7] website, and particularly the [“Reconstructions”][8] gallery.

**More about hominids:**

* [Interactive: ‘Before and After Humans’][9] * [Fossils suggest Lucy used stone tools][10] * [Lucy’s ‘great-grandfather’ discovered][11] * [Search for hominids on msnbc.com][12]

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_Connect with the Cosmic Log community by “liking” the log’s _[_Facebook page_][13]_ or following _[_@b0yle on Twitter_][14]_. You can also check out _[_”The Case for Pluto,”_][15]_ Alan’s book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds._

[1]: http://www.polls.newsvine.com/_vine/images/users/600/boyle/5296834.jpg [2]: http://www.daynes.com/en/reconstructions/australopithecus_afarensis-2.php [3]: http://www.daynes.com/en/reconstructions/neanderthal.php [4]: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7806495/ [5]: http://www.prlog.org/11000687-elisabeth-daynes-wins-lanzendorf-paleoart-prize-for-3d-art.html [6]: http://www.vertpaleo.org/meetings/ [7]: http://www.daynes.com/en/home.php [8]: http://www.daynes.com/en/reconstructions.php [9]: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7348103/ns/technology_and_science-science/ [10]: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38660651/ns/technology_and_science-science/ [11]: http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/06/21/4539675-lucys-great-grandfather-found [12]: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/?id=11881780&q=hominids&p=1&st=2&sm=user [13]: http://www.facebook.com/cosmiclog [14]: http://twitter.com/b0yle [15]: http://www.thecaseforpluto.com/

URL: http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/10/15/5296825-a-family-portrait-for-the-ages?chromedomain=cosmiclog

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