mammalian reproductive strategies
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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

Patterns of Social Behavior

Sociability: important characteristic for most primates

Continuous interactions among a group of individuals

advantages of group living
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.
Individuals are solitary
  • Males are intolerant of one another.
  • Single male establishes a large territory.
  • Contains several females
  • Each female has her own separate home range
  • Extensive home ranges
Multi-male; multi-female


Overlapping territories

Human societies extremely diverse
  • 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
fundamental intersexual reproductive strategies
Fundamental intersexual reproductive strategies
  • 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.
Mammalian female reproductive cycle

Female primates

Hormonal suppression of sexual cycles

nonhuman cultural behavior
Nonhuman Cultural Behavior
  • 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.
Genetic similarities and differences

Human and ape chromosomes


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