March 27, 2023

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Humans may have been thankful for their grandmothers, Harvard researchers argue

Children conceal immense energy, but they need intensive and long-term care to develop it, which often exceeds their parental ability. We have been addicted for many years leaving the mother’s womb, and this may have exacerbated the racial characteristics.

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Harvard University researchers say the importance of having active grandparents keeps humans in good physical condition for long periods of time beyond their reproductive age, and explains why exercise can be so effective in old age.

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This role of grandmothers, the pillars of education, in contrast to events that occur in almost all animal species, may have caused women to lose fertility and live for decades. The analysis was published in the PNAS journal of the US National Academy of Sciences.

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The “Grandmother Hypothesis” was developed from the observation of older women of the Hatsa tribe in northern Tanzania. Kristen Hawks, a researcher at the University of Utah, found that these women were more productive and collected food that they later shared with their daughters. This generosity helped them to provide more grandchildren.

Analysis of pre-industrial communities in Canada and Finland yielded similar results. In Quebec in the early 17th century, church records allowed women living in the same church as their mothers to have an average of 1.75 children more than sisters living far away. In Finland, the results showed a similar trend until Grandma was over 75 years old.

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– Natural selection is favorable Longevity Says Maria Martினான்nez Torres, director of the National Center for Human Evolution (SENIH) in Burgos, Spain.

Fragile human children and their large brains are more likely to survive if they have grandparents. This important role would, in turn, have brought much longer and healthier life to our species than closely related creatures such as chimpanzees. These animals, fertile until death, undergo significant physical degeneration in their thirties and are usually not more than 40 years old.

History of evolution

Paleontrologist Marina Lozano recalls that this role as a grandmother began with Homo erectus, which appeared about 1.8 million years ago.

– This is the first species of our species, which has a structure similar to ours and a similar life cycle, with longer development there will be separate stages of breastfeeding and infancy, and another stage, such as adolescence – says Lozano of the Institute of Human Biology. And social evolution, in Tarragona, Catalonia.

Grandmothers’ help may have started with the human race before us, but about 50,000 years ago, cultural changes took place, which intensified the event.

According to Rachel Caspar, a researcher at the University of Central Michigan, the number of survivors has increased over the past three million years from the dental fossils of 768 people, to the age when upper-Paleolithic Homo sapiens may have been grandparents. At that time, for every ten Neanderthals who died between the ages of 15 and 30, only four were over it. Of the Sabians, however, 20 won.

Sabians have been on Earth for tens of thousands of years. However, something that happened about 60,000 years ago increased its capabilities.

– There is a clear cultural technique, which is the moment of mixing with Neanderthals and migration out of Africa as soon as they migrate into the continent – says Antonio Rosas, director of the National Museum’s Paleontrophysiology team. The natural sciences of Madrid.- This date is unique. As something happens, it becomes clear that the social and cultural structure is changing, as well as the value of the grandmothers.

Cultural adaptability increased the life expectancy of Sabians by increasing the number of grandparents in this population. Females are born with many eggs and are distributed during the fertile years. By increasing life expectancy, there may be an increase in the number of eggs to maintain fertility for a longer period of time, but grandmothers may offer other benefits such as not caring for their own grandchildren. Humans are also among the few animals that cannot have children until the end of their days. Others are pilot whales, dental cetaceans such as belugas, narwhals and orcas, which also have large brains.

The value of adults

In this age of cultural and biological change, increasing longevity would have been a great encouragement to our species, which is heading towards unprecedented global expansion several thousand years later.

– Increase in longevity allows generations to be combined to allow for the accumulation of exceptional wealth. Australopithecines did not know their grandmothers. The fact that three generations can be combined in one house is a knowledge that other species do not have. Humans do not have to start every generation. It completely changes the value of the elderly – concludes Martin Torres.

Communities in which grandmothers were highly valued were able to survive and thrive in a glacier Europe where art works, advanced hunting techniques and Neanderthals disappeared. This strange breed, very fragile for many years, achieved its success in a paradoxical way, according to Cenieh’s director.

– The success of the species is reproduction, but ours has achieved success with the increase of the period in which it does not reproduce – he says.

Family support of grandparents is one of the characteristics that define human individuality. As in other cases, the strength of the race came from some of its weakest members.