Behavioral and Brain Sciences

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2010), 33:19-20 Cambridge University Press
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Open Peer Commentary

Grandparental investment and the epiphenomenon of menopause in recent human history

Douglas C. Broadfielda1

a1 Department of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431.
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The effects of grandparental investment in relatives are apparent in human groups, suggesting that a postreproductive period in humans is selective. Although investment of relatives in kin produces obvious benefits for kin groups, selection for a postreproductive period in humans is not supported by evidence from chimpanzees. Instead, grandparental investment is likely a recent phenomenon of longevity, rather than an evolved feature.

Grandparental investment: Past, present, and future David A. Coall and Ralph Hertwig School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160, Australia.; Department of Psychology, University of Basel, 4055 Basel, Switzerland.