Skip to comments.Grannies gave evolutionary boost
Posted on 07/11/2004 1:24:20 PM PDT by beavus
Researchers at the Universities of Michigan and California looked at the ratio of older and younger adult teeth found at sites up to 100,000 years old.
Finding more older teeth in the Upper Palaeolithic suggests the grandparent role - being on hand to help out more - became more common at that time.
The research is in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences.
After studying more than 750 fossilised teeth anthropologists Rachel Caspari and Sang-Hee Lee noticed they were finding more specimens from older adults in more recent sites.
Modern humans were older and wiser
Dr Rachel Caspari, University of Michigan They defined "old" to be at least double the age of reproductive maturation, which is also the time when the third molars erupt.
By calculating the age of old-to-young individuals in the samples from successive time periods, the researchers found that the number of old people surviving quadrupled about 30,000 years ago.
The scientists say the presence of grandparents confers an important evolutionary advantage.
Grannie knows best
"We believe this trend contributed importantly to population expansions and cultural innovations that are associated with modernity," the researchers say.
It is also thought that living longer strengthened social relationships and kinship bonds, as grandparents educated extended families.
"Significant longevity came late in human evolution and its advantages must have compensated somehow for the disabilities and diseases of older age," say the authors.
"There has been a lot of speculation about what gave modern humans their evolutionary advantage," says Dr Caspari. "This research provides a simple explanation for which there is now concrete evidence: modern humans were older and wiser."
Seriously though, it makes you wonder what happened 30,000 years ago to enable people to live longer. Some new hunting technique? Emergence of a new immunity? Very interesting.
notice the "sexual" overtones of "grannie" knows best.
Have you noticed the total lack on television ads & shows of any non-servile males figures? That is if you see one at all. All mentions of professionals or persons of authority that are not shown are always "she" or "her"?
I am not saying that the opposite was any better, but all this is doing is driving the rift even wider apart.
But of course, that is the planned results. Divide & Conquer!
Well now, being a grandparent, I like this one at lot!!!
The reason anthropologists focus on "granny" rather than "grandpa" is because of the menopause. (Men basically keep on going till they keel over.) There seems to be no apparent reason for it - except that there's an evolutionary advantage, apparently, to having women around who *aren't having children anymore.* Not having babies of their own to care for means they can spend time with their grandchildren (and probably great-grandchildren, given the short generation spans of the past.)
Termite? Please show this to your Nana.
Makes sense. Grandparents would serve as teachers, imparting the knowledge of their years onto the children.
But if 70-100 years gives some evolutionary advantage, shouldn't 200-300 years give a whole bunch? Now there's what I'm talkin about baby, yeah! Bring on the fountain of ever lovin' youth, Momma Nature! I need this evolutionary spike in say the next 10-15 years, so let's all focus on it now. Come on team! Let's show Darwin what this stuff is all about! Let's kick some natural selection a$$, yeah!!
My theory is more fun! :>)
Presence of teeth = "Important Evolutionary Advantage"
Somewhere in here there is a joke about West Virginians......
I did and she said that the young "whipper snappers" have a thing or two to learn from the older generation.
Love you Auntie N....
And I love you too, little one. Give your Nana a hug and a wet sloppy kiss from me....no. Leave that kiss thing out. :-)
Hey , what is this , a grandkid posting?
How did you get them trained, I need some pointers.
I just noticed, he is supposed to be watching the Monitor!!!
Excuse me. This is Logan. Logan can type WITHOUT watching the monitor.
Really Ernest. Think about it.
Logan looks bright!
And that he IS!!!!
I am not biased in any way shape or form. It HAS BEEN scientifically proven that Logan is smarter, brighter, cuter, more cuddly, wonderfuller....
...think I'm leaving now. HAHAHAHAAAAAAAA