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October 2021

A theory of human life history evolution: Diet, intelligence, and longevity

Author(s): Hill, K., Lancaster, J., Hurtado, A. M.

Journal/Book: Evol Anthropol. 2000; 9: Div John Wiley & Sons Inc, 605 Third Ave, New York, NY 10158-0012, USA. Wiley-Liss. 156-185.

Abstract: Human life histories, as compared to those of other primates and mammals, have at least four distinctive characteristics: an exceptionally long lifespan, an extended period of juvenile dependence, support of reproduction by older postreproductive individuals, and male support of reproduction through the provisioning of females and their offspring. Another distinctive feature of our species is a large brain, with its associated psychological attributes: increased capacities for learning, cognition, and insight. In this paper, we propose a theory that unites and organizes these observations and generates many theoretical and empirical predictions. We present some tests of those predictions and outline new predictions that can be tested in future research by comparative biologists, archeologists, paleontologists, biological anthropologists, demographers, geneticists, and cultural anthropologists.

Note: Review Kaplan H, Univ New Mexico, Dept Anthropol, Albuquerque,NM 87131 USA

Keyword(s): ENERGY-EXPENDITURE; HOMINID EVOLUTION; FORAGING GOALS; FERTILITY; CHIMPANZEES; BRAIN; HADZA; HYPOTHESIS; PRIMATES; PATTERNS


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