Grandmothers, hunters and human life history

Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):665-686 (2009)
This paper critiques the competing “Grandmother Hypothesis” and “Embodied Capital Theory” as evolutionary explanations of the peculiarities of human life history traits. Instead, I argue that the correct explanation for human life history probably involves elements of both hypotheses: long male developmental periods and lives probably evolved due to group selection for male hunting via increased female fertility, and female long lives due to the differential contribution women’s complex foraging skills made to their children and grandchildren’s nutritional status within groups provisioned by male hunting.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-009-9166-x
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