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Human evolution is frequently analyzed in the light of changes in developmental timing. Encephalization in particular has been frequently linked to the slow pace of development in Homo sapiens. The "brain allometry extension" theory postulates that the progressive extension of a conserved primate brain allometry into postnatal life was the basis for brain(More)
Recent studies have indicated that the insulin-signaling pathway controls body and organ size in Drosophila, and most metazoans, by signaling nutritional conditions to the growing organs. The temporal requirements for insulin signaling during development are, however, unknown. Using a temperature-sensitive insulin receptor (Inr) mutation in Drosophila, we(More)
Most accounts of human life history propose that women have short reproductive spans relative to their adult lifespans, while men not only remain fertile but carry on reproducing until late life. Here we argue that studies have overlooked evidence for variation in male reproductive ageing across human populations. We apply a Bayesian approach to census data(More)
Heterochrony has been an influential perspective on the evolution of morphologies, a circumstance mostly due to a strategic shift of the theory to the analysis of growth and measurable traits. A difficulty in testing hypotheses of heterochrony in the morphometric realm, and therefore in establishing its evolutionary relevance, has been the absence of an(More)
Explanations for the evolution of human pygmies continue to be a matter of controversy, recently fuelled by the disagreements surrounding the interpretation of the fossil hominin Homo floresiensis. Traditional hypotheses assume that the small body size of human pygmies is an adaptation to special challenges, such as thermoregulation, locomotion in dense(More)
Previous research has indicated the importance of the frontal lobe and its 'executive' connections to other brain structures as crucial in explaining primate neocortical adaptations. However, a representative sample of volumetric measurements of frontal connective tissue (white matter) has not been available. In this study, we present new volumetric(More)
'Simple' hunter-gatherer populations adopt the social norm of 'demand sharing', an example of human hyper-cooperation whereby food brought into camps is claimed and divided by group members. Explaining how demand sharing evolved without punishment to free riders, who rarely hunt but receive resources from active hunters, has been a long-standing problem.(More)
The social organization of mobile hunter-gatherers has several derived features, including low within-camp relatedness and fluid meta-groups. Although these features have been proposed to have provided the selective context for the evolution of human hypercooperation and cumulative culture, how such a distinctive social system may have emerged remains(More)
Humans possess the unique ability for cumulative culture [1, 2]. It has been argued that hunter-gatherer's complex social structure [3-9] has facilitated the evolution of cumulative culture by allowing information exchange among large pools of individuals [10-13]. However, empirical evidence for the interaction between social structure and cultural(More)
Primates grow and develop slowly for mammalian standards. Charnov showed that primates grow at only about 40% of the rates observed in other mammals of similar size. However, previous estimates of growth rates in primates were derived from regressions of adult body weight on age at first reproduction in different species, and therefore represent only an(More)