Meet the alloparents summary of book

Meet the Alloparents | Natural History Magazine

meet the alloparents summary of book

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy is one of the most original and influential minds in evolutionary anthropology. She first became known for her field study of. Several lines of evidence confirm alloparental care in Jamaican bromeliad crabs. First Indeed, Jamaican bromeliad crab colonies meet the criteria traditionally. Meet the alloparents summary of the book. Find great deals on eBay for mastermind book. Shop with confidence.

It is full of fascinating information from diverse fields, imaginatively harnessed to produce a coherent account of our genetic predispositions as a species.

Above all, it challenges the pervasively sexist tradition within evolutionary psychology, which routinely highlights aggression and maternal care at the expense of sociability and shared care. In doing so, the book provides a rich foundation for engagement with the social sciences, exploring the articulation between our genetic predispositions and contemporary human societies. But those are aggressive, competitive metaphors, and one of the essential points of Mothers and Others is that aggression and competition have been given far too central a place in the standard accounts of how our species came into being.

From Charles Darwin onward, those accounts are mostly the work of men, and Hrdy points out in meticulous detail how partial and biased was their understanding of the remote past… Mothers and Others offers enormous rewards.

It is not only revolutionary; it is also wise and humane. Mothers and Others is a heroic contribution to this quest. It is an anthropological T A E: It stands above most other examples of the genre, however, for both its scholarship and its craft.

Hrdy draws on a broad literature extending beyond the traditional domains of primatology and anthropology, with particular emphasis on developmental psychology, but breadth of scholarship and lucid vision have long been the trademarks of her writing… Hrdy is at least as gifted as a writer as [Stephen Jay] Gould and at least as clear a thinker… This is a very important book, and a beautiful one.

It is a book that will delight a broad lay readership coming to it from disparate perspectives. It will be a wonderful book to assign to undergraduates in a range of courses. But most importantly, it is a challenging and provocative book for academics and scientists interested in human cognition and human evolution. When an outside male takes over a group, he usually proceeds to kill all infants.

This postulated tactic would be very advantageous to the male langurs who practiced infanticide.

meet the alloparents summary of book

Turnover in a langur tribe occurs approximately every 27 months. The male who is taking over has a very small window of opportunity to pass on his genes. If the females are nursing infants, it's likely that they won't ovulate for another year. Killing their dependent infants makes the females once again receptive to mating. Female choice is subverted, as females are put under pressure to ovulate and are forced to breed with the infanticidal males. This is where the idea of sexual counter-strategies comes into play.

Hrdy theorized that by mating with as many males as possibleparticularly males who are not part of the colony, mothers are able to successfully protect their young, as males were unlikely to kill an infant if there was the slightest chance that it might be their own. That gives an "illusion of paternity ," as Trivers put it.

The goal of the male langur is to maximize the proportion of his offspring and, according to Hrdy, a male who attacks his own offspring is rapidly selected against. While infanticide has been seemingly preserved across primate orders, Hrdy found no evidence to suggest that the human species has a ' genetic imperative' for infanticide. In Hrdy was awarded her PhD for her research on langurs. In it was published in her second book, The Langurs of Abu: Female and Male Strategies of Reproduction.

The controversy in the anthropology realm that her research sparked was not surprising—the classic belief that primates act for the good of the group was discarded, and the field of sociobiology gained increasing support.

Many mistakenly assumed that she implied existence of an 'infanticidal gene ' that could be conserved across primates. Today, her results and conclusions are widely received.

Even Trivers, who once dismissed her apparently illogical convictions, admits that her theory regarding female sexual strategies has "worn well.

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy - Wikipedia

Evolutionary biologists have taken for granted that, like other apes, our female ancestors must have left their natal groups to breed in another community. There they would have encountered unrelated females, possibly competing mothers, who might be not only unsupportive but actually infanticidal. Until recently, in fact, evolutionary biologists assumed hunter-gatherers followed a similar pattern of female dispersal. But inin an exhaustive review of ethnographic studies, University of Utah anthropologist Helen Alvarez concluded that mothers living in hunting-and-gathering groups were likely to have their mothers and other kin nearby when they gave birth.

Meet the Alloparents

For example, Stanford University anthropologists Brooke A. Mothers were also eager to join a daughter if she was married to the same man as her sister. In consequence, half of married Mardu women between the ages of fourteen and forty had a mother in the same group, while many had sisters or cousins as well, often as cowives.

meet the alloparents summary of book

On average, female group members had an 11 percent chance of sharing a gene by common descent—just as do females of some of the nonhuman primate species that practice infant-sharing. Something happened in the line leading to H. The impetus, I believe, had to do with food. Chimpanzee mother with her baby in Gombe National Park, Tanzania: The most plausible scenario, set forth by anthropologists James F.

Game was increasingly important, but its availability unpredictable. A division of labor emerged between male hunters and female gatherers, and social bonds ensuring that men and women shared became increasingly essential. Those storage organs occur throughout the savanna, but are protected by a deep layer of sunbaked earth. Savanna-dwelling baboons dig up rhizomes and undergound stems called corms, both found nearer the surface, and at least one unusual population of savanna-dwelling chimpanzees is known to use sticks to dig out the shallower tubers, suggesting that early bipedal apes may have done so as well.

But it takes special knowledge and equipment to dig out the deeply situated larger tubers. Tubers are not only hard to extract. They are fibrous and difficult to digest, hardly ideal food for children. Like nuts, they need skilled processing.