+ Translate

Evolutionary hypotheses for human childhood

, : Evolutionary hypotheses for human childhood. Yearbook Of Physical Anthropology. 40(0): 63-89

The origins of human childhood have fascinated scholars from many disciplines. Some researchers argue that childhood, and many other human characteristics, evolved by heterochrony, an evolutionary process that alters the timing of growth stages from ancestors to their descendants. Other scholars argue against heterochrony, but so far have not offered a well-developed alternative hypothesis. This essay presents such an alternative. Childhood is defined as a unique developmental stage of humans. Childhood is the period following infancy, when the youngster is weaned from nursing but still depends on older people for feeding and protection. The biological constraints of childhood, which include an immature dentition, a small digestive system, and a calorie-demanding brain that is both relatively large and growing rapidly, necessitate the care and feeding that older individuals must provide. Evidence is presented that childhood evolved as a new stage hominid life history, first appearing, perhaps, during the time of Homo habilis. The value of childhood is often ascribed to learning many aspects of human culture. It is certainly true that childhood provides "extra" time for brain development and learning. However, the initial selective value of childhood may be more closely related to parental strategies to increase reproductive success. Childhood allows a woman to give birth to new offspring and provide care for existing dependent young. Understanding the nature of childhood helps to explain why humans have lengthy development and low fertility, but greater reproductive success than any other species.

Order PDF Full Text


Click here to order any other PDF Full Text

Accession: 008647119

DOI: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8644(1997)25+<63::aid-ajpa3>;2-8

PDF Full Text: Evolutionary hypotheses for human childhood

Submit PDF Full Text

No spam - Every submission is manually reviewed

Due to poor quality, we do not accept files from Researchgate

Submitted PDF Full Texts will always be free for everyone
(We only charge for PDFs that we need to acquire)

Select a PDF file:

Other references

Love R.R.; Newcomb P.A.; Wiebe D.A.; Surawicz T.S.; Jordan V.C.; Carbone P.P.; Demets D.L., 1989: Lipid and lipoprotein effects of tamoxifen therapy in postmenopausal women with node negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment 14(1): 183

Gourmel B.; Fiet J.; Collins R.F.; Villette J.M.; Passa P.; Dreux C., 1981: Plasma diacetolol assessment by radio immunoassay. Acebutolol metabolizes into 3 metabolites. Metabolite I (diacetolol) is the most important pharmacologically, since it has anti-arrhythmic and .beta.-blocking properties resembling those of acebutolol. A fast radioimmunoassay (RIA) for diacetolol...

Ward, Jk; Dawson, Te; Ehleringer,. Jr.;, 2002: Responses of Acer negundo genders to interannual differences in water availability determined from carbon isotope ratios of tree ring cellulose. Understanding the responses of riparian trees to water availability is critical for predicting the effects of changes in precipitation on riparian ecosystems. Dioecious Acer negundo L. (box elder) is a common riparian tree that is highly sensitive...

Van Der Zwaan G.J.; Thomas E., 1980: Late miocene environmental evolution in the mediterranean area stable isotopes of planktonic and benthic foraminifera from crete. Stable isotope data of foraminifera from 5 Upper Miocene and 2 Pliocene sections, located on Crete, will be discussed. One planktonic species, Globigerinoides obliquus, and 3 benthic taxa, Uvigerina cylindrica cylindrica, U. cylindrica gaudryinoid...

Kekelidze N.A.; Dzhanikashvili M.I.; Kachurina A.P., 1986: Accumulation of monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids in tangerine leaves and fruits in ontogenesis. The dynamics of mono- and sesquiterpene accumulation in leaves and skin of tangerine (the variety Unshiu) has been investigated at different stages of plant development. It is established that intensive processes of d-limonene accumulation and pro...

Homberg, U., 1987: Structure and functions of the central complex in insects. The central complex (CP) is a system of interconnected neuropils in the insect brain. Its neuroanatomy is characterized by several systems of right-left fibre (RLF) chiasmata and arborization patterns in the central body in vertical segments and i...

Prater, Bradley, D.; Anumula, Kalyan, R.; Hutchins, Jeff, T., 2007: Automated sample preparation facilitated by PhyNexus MEA purification system for oligosaccharide mapping of glycoproteins. A reproducible high-throughput sample cleanup method for fluorescent oligosaccharide mapping of glycoproteins is described. Oligosaccharides are released from glycoproteins using PNGase F and labeled with 2-aminobenzoic acid (anthranilic acid, AA)...

Merion R.M.; White D.J.G.; Thiru S.; Evans D.B.; Calne R.Y., 1984: Cyclosporine 5 years experience in cadaveric renal transplantation. Using a retrospective analysis 79 recipients of cadaveric renal allografts who were treated with cyclosporine [Cy] as the sole initial immunosuppressant and 29 concurrent transplant recipients treated with conventional immunosuppressants were comp...

Anonymous, 1982: Resource conservation glossary. A third edition of the glossary previously published in 1976 [see FA 38, 2047]. The number of terms has been expanded from about 2700 to 4000 and the number of disciplines represented from 18 to the following 34: agronomy, air resources, anthropol...

Yadvinder Singh; Bijay Singh; Maskina, M. S.; Meelu, O. P., 1989: Management of fertilizer nitrogen for wetland rice in the Punjab. Wetland rice has become a major kharif [monsoon season] crop and is now grown even on coarse-textured (non-traditional) soils of the Indian Punjab. Recovery of fertilizer N by rice can be as low as 21% in non-traditional soils. The causes of losse...