Saturday, April 20, 2024

Chapter 15: Little Big Man

1. Miller (2000), p. 169.

2. Though not always, as other factors can influence body-size dimorphism, apart from the intensity of male-male mating conflict. See Lawler (2009), for example.

3. Male Australopithecus (between three and four million years ago) are thought to have been about fifty percent larger than females. Recent papers suggest Ardipethicus ramidus, another supposed human ancestor (thought to be a million or so years older than Australopithecus) was closer to our 15 to 20 percent levels. But keep in mind that the much-ballyhooed reconstruction of Ardipethicus ramidus relied upon bits and pieces of many different individuals, so our sense of body size dimorphism 4.4 million years ago is based upon educated guesses, at best (White et al., 2009).

4. Lovejoy (2009).


6. Supplemental note. On sexual selection in relation to monkeys. Reprinted from Nature, November 2, 1876, p. 18.

7. As we’ll discuss in the next chapter, the genital echo theory posits that women developed pendulous breasts so that the cleavage would mimic the (is there a scientific term for this?) butt-crack that so enticed our primate ancestors. Following that line of reasoning, some argue that fancily named lipstick serves to re-create the bright red “hinder ends” that so perplexed poor Darwin.

8. See Baker and Bellis (1995) or Baker (1996) for the sperm-team theory.

9. Hrdy (1996) is a wonderfully erudite and engaging discussion of how some of Darwin’s personal sexual hang-ups are reflected still in evolutionary theory.

10. Supplemental note. On sexual selection in relation to monkeys. Reprinted from Nature, November 2, 1876, p. 18.

11. Diamond (1991), p. 62.

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