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A family portrait for the ages

French artist Elisabeth Daynes is known for her reconstructions of our long-dead cousins, ranging from Lucy the australopith to a Neanderthal family to the "real face" of Tutankhamun, Egypt's boy-king. Now she's won the Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize 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 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 website, and particularly the "Reconstructions" gallery.

More about hominids:

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