In our modern era people routinely live long enough

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Unformatted text preview: modern era, people routinely live long enough to become grandparents. But this was not always the case. When did grandparents become prevalent, and how did their ubiquity affect human evolution? Research my colleagues and I have been conducting indicates that grandparent-aged individuals became common relatively recently in human prehistory and that this change came at about the same time as cultural shifts toward distinctly modern behaviors—including a dependence on sophisticated symbol-based communication of the kind that underpins art and language. These findings suggest that living to an older age had profound effects on the population sizes, social interactions and genetics of early modern human groups and may explain why they were more successful than archaic humans, such as the Neandertals. L ive Fast, Die Young the first step in figuring out when grandparents became a fixture in society is assessing the typical age breakdown of past populations—what percent were children, adults of childbearing age and parents of those younger adults? R...
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2013 for the course ANTH 101 taught by Professor Roseman during the Spring '12 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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