Re: Social evolution of hominids

Ian Pennington (
Sun, 05 Jan 1997 14:06:53 -0800

> >I understand that the continuous sexual activity of human females
> >was not the original situation. This behaviour obviously appeared
> >after the times of the common ancestor of apes and us, since the
> >apes have restricted heat times, as do most mammals.
What survivability benefits accruee to h sapiens by having the female being
capable of continuous sexual activity? A few quesions come to mind:

1. humans take a long time to reach sexual maturity and the capacity to
generate another generation of offspring. Prior to that maturity, humans
consume a lot of resources, cannot offer much to survival of the community,
and face longer odds in surviving to adulthood (a reasonable assumption,
since they remain infants for so long). Combine that with a fairly long
gestation period, and its seems that continous sexual activity is necessary
to offset the span between successive genrations.

Of course, I no little whereof I speak, not being in this profession, but I
HAVE read a book about it! :)

Speaking of which, the book is "The time before history", by colin tudge.
What do folks think of this book?