The role of grandmothers in human evolution

Research indicates that grandmothers’ survival is the result of evolution, as their presence would also help their grandchildren’s chances of survival.

In 2015, US researcher Kristen Hawkes of Utah State University’s Department of Anthropology told the Daily Mail that “grandmothers were the key to human evolution.” She had conducted a study in which she explained that there was a definite link between the longevity of women and the importance of the role of grandmothers.

“Couple bonds are universal in human societies and distinguish us from our closest living relatives. It looks like the grandmother was crucial for the development of peer relationships in humans,”said Hawkes.

By playing their role, grandmothers have allowed their children to have more babies: “The reason moms can have new babies sooner is not because dad brings bread home, but because grandma helps feed the new-born kids. ”

The researcher and her team claimed to have developed a theoretical model of evolution of human longevity from that of great apes in order to verify this famous link. Thus, the beneficial effect of grandmothers would directly explain their longevity.

Previous studies of hunter-gatherers as well as a French community in Quebec who lived between the 17th and 18th centuries proved that grandmothers, caring for their grandchildren and bringing them food to eat, gave them a much better chance of survival.

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Moreover since September 2017, the oldest human alive is a woman, which is also often the case. We are talking here about the Japanese Nabi Tajima, 117 years old. Born on August 4, 1900, this lady is simply the last person still alive to have been born in the nineteenth century!

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Shakes Gilles

Editor of The Talking Democrat. He enjoys bike riding, kayaking and playing soccer. On a slow weekend, you'll find him with a book by the lake.