Let's thank our grandmothers for giving us longer lifespans10/25/2012
Scientists have suspected for a while that grandmothers could be responsible for humans having longer lifespans than most primates: The "Grandmother Hypothesis" suggests that women live long after menopause because there's an evolutionary advantage to having an older relative around to help moms care for their kids. A new study from the University of Utah has lent weight to the theory by running computer simulations on chimpanzees, whose females rarely live beyond their 30s and 40s, when they stop being fertile. The simulations suggest that the influence of grandmothers would eventually give chimps lifespans equivalent to humans. "Grandmothering was the initial step towards making us who we are," said the study's lead author, Professor Kristen Hawkes. [Source]
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