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This paper assesses selective pressures that shaped primate life histories, with particular attention to the evolution of longer juvenile periods and increased brain sizes. We evaluate the effects of social complexity (as indexed by group size) and foraging complexity (as indexed by percent fruit and seeds in the diet) on the length of the juvenile period,(More)
The biogeographic expansion of modern humans out of Africa began approximately 50,000 years ago. This expansion resulted in the colonization of most of the land area and habitats throughout the globe and in the replacement of preexisting hominid species. However, such rapid population growth and geographic spread is somewhat unexpected for a large primate(More)
Life-history theory posits a fundamental trade-off between number and size of offspring that structures the variability in parental investment across and within species. We investigate this 'quantity-quality' trade-off across primates and present evidence that a similar trade-off is also found across natural-fertility human societies. Restating the classic(More)
There persist two widely held but mutually inconsistent views on the evolution of post-fertile lifespan of human females. The first, prevalent within anthropology, sees post-fertile lifespan (PFLS) in the light of adaptive processes, focusing on the social and economic habits of humans that selected for a lengthy PFLS. This view rests on the assumption that(More)
Humans have a dual nature. We are subject to the same natural laws and forces as other species yet dominate global ecology and exhibit enormous variation in energy use, cultural diversity, and apparent social organization. We suggest scientists tackle these challenges with a macroecological approach-using comparative statistical techniques to identify deep(More)
The demographic rates of most organisms are supported by the consumption of food energy, which is used to produce new biomass and fuel physiological processes. Unlike other species, modern humans use 'extra-metabolic' energy sources acquired independent of physiology, which also influence demographics. We ask whether the amount of extra-metabolic energy(More)
One of Robert May's classic results was finding that population dynamics become chaotic when the average lifetime rate of reproduction exceeds a certain value. Populations whose reproductive rates exceed this May threshold probably become extinct. The May threshold in each case depends upon the shape of the density-dependence curve, which differs among(More)
Influential demographic projections suggest that the global human population will stabilize at about 9-10 billion people by mid-century. These projections rest on two fundamental assumptions. The first is that the energy needed to fuel development and the associated decline in fertility will keep pace with energy demand far into the future. The second is(More)
The size of the human population is relevant to the development of a sustainable world, yet the forces setting growth or declines in the human population are poorly understood. Generally, population growth rates depend on whether new individuals compete for the same energy (leading to Malthusian or density-dependent growth) or help to generate new energy(More)
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Postnatal depression (PND) presents a puzzling phenomenon to evolutionary anthropologists as it is highly prevalent and yet detrimental to child development and maternal health. Adaptive explanations have been proposed, but have not been tested with data that directly link PND to female fertility. METHODOLOGY A survey was(More)