The trade-off between number and size of offspring in humans and other primates

Walker, Robert S., Gurven, Michael, Burger, Oskar F., Hamilton, Marcus J. (2008) The trade-off between number and size of offspring in humans and other primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275 (1636). pp. 827-833. ISSN 0962-8452. E-ISSN 1471-2954. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1511) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2007.1511

Abstract

Life-history theory posits a fundamental trade-off between number and size of offspring that structures the variability in parental investment across and within species. We investigate this â??quantityâ??qualityâ?? trade-off across primates and present evidence that a similar trade-off is also found across natural-fertility human societies. Restating the classic Smithâ??Fretwell model in terms of allometric scaling of resource supply and offspring investment predicts an inverse scaling relation between birth rate and offspring size and a â??¼ power scaling between birth rate and body size. We show that these theoretically predicted relationships, in particular the inverse scaling between number and size of offspring, tend to hold across increasingly finer scales of analyses (i.e. from mammals to primates to apes to humans). The advantage of this approach is that the quantityâ??quality trade-off in humans is placed into a general framework of parental investment that follows directly from first principles of energetic allocation.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1511
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: DA - 2008/// [EPrints field already has value set]
Uncontrolled keywords: quantity–quality trade-off; Smith–Fretwell model; number and size of offspring; natural-fertility human societies; primate life histories; quarter-power scaling
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Oskar Burger
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2016 12:32 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:51 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/53667 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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