Daily Archives: June 5, 2011

Sacrifice on the Serengeti

Life History, Genetic Relatedness, and the Evolution of Menopause

Imagine you’re on the Serengeti Plateau and your children are hungry. For miles in every direction there’s nothing but dry scrub grass with the occasional flat-topped acacia tree marking the landscape. Your oldest has found a spot to dig for tubers but he and your daughter aren’t strong enough to scrape away the hard, baked earth by themselves. Your husband is tracking a wounded gazelle and could be gone for days. Meanwhile, the infant slung to your hip has started screaming and the distinctive sound triggers a release of oxytocin that causes your breasts to swell and leak. You have to feed her but you can’t do that and make sure your other children get enough to eat. There’s a very real chance that some of them will be too weak to survive the next time fever breaks out unless you can get help.

Read this excellent review here.

That’s a guest post on Carin Bondar’s blog written by Eric Michael Johnson. If you like the post you can vote for it in the Quark Award … Just go here and search for ‘Dr. Carin Bondar” and vote for that article (which is actually by Eric Michael Johnson)

Changing authorship on a blog is a pain, and is often impossible, thus the confusion in authorship.