Mammalian reproductive strategies
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Mammalian Reproductive Strategies. Prototheria (monotremes). Metatheria (marsupials). Eutheria (placentals). Patterns of Social Behavior. Sociability: important characteristic for most primates Continuous interactions among a group of individuals. Advantages of Group Living.

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Patterns of Social Behavior

Sociability: important characteristic for most primates

Continuous interactions among a group of individuals

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Advantages of Group Living

  • 1. Observational learning.

    • Reduces necessity of individual trial-and-error learning.

  • 2. Possibile genetic resistance to disease and parasites.

  • 3. Efficient location of food resources

  • 4. Increases the reproductive fitness of group members.

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  • Individuals are solitary females

  • Males are intolerant of one another.

  • Single male establishes a large territory.

  • Contains several females

  • Each female has her own separate home range

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Multi-male; multi-female females


Overlapping territories

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  • Human societies extremely diverse females

  • Monogamy

  • Polygamy

    • polygyny and polyandry

  • For most of human evolution - and for most women in the world today, menstruation is a rare occurrence

  • Repetitive pregnancies and long periods of lactation

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Fundamental intersexual reproductive strategies females

  • Female.

  • Maximize resources available to her and her offspring.

  • Female primates spend most of their adult lives pregnant, lactating, and caring for offspring.

  • High energy demands.

  • Male.

  • Produce many offspring and make sure they are yours.

  • Non-human primates: androgen levels fluctuate in response to female receptivity.

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Mammalian female reproductive cycle females

Female primates

Hormonal suppression of sexual cycles

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Nonhuman Cultural Behavior females

  • Learned behavior shared between generations. t

  • Chimpanzees: tool use

  • Spearing of bushbabies

  • Termite fishing with modified stems and twigs.

  • Have a preconceived idea of what the finished tool needs to be in order to be useful.

  • May make the tool in advance of the opportunity for use.

  • Preparing for the future. Requires planning and forethought.

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Bone review females

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Genetic similarities and differences females

Human and ape chromosomes

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mtDNA females

4,700 base sequence

Genes for 11 tRNAs

6 proteins

Human-chimpanzee relationship

1023 more likely than

Chimpanzee-gorilla relationship


Base sequence for

Testis-specific protein Y

Autosomal DNA

Base sequence of

Beta-globin gene cluster