Human Evolution

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 61–66 | Cite as

Longevity and life history in hominid evolution

  • M. L. A. Hammer
  • R. A. Foley


Under the assumption that life history in general and longevity in particular play an important part in the study of evolutionary patterns and processes, this paper focuses on predicting longevity changes across hominid evolution and attempts to throw light on the significance of such changes. We also consider some statistical arguments in the analysis of hominid life history patterns. Multiple regression techniques incorporating primate body weight and brain size data are used to predict hominied longevity and the results are compared to those in the literature. Our findings suggest that changes in hominid longevity are more likely to follow brain size than body weight, and that multiple regression techniques may be an appropriate avenue for future studies on life history variation in human evolution.

Key Words

Hominid evolution longevity Australopithecus Homo body weight brain size allometry life history 


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Copyright information

© International Institute for the Study of Man 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. L. A. Hammer
    • 1
  • R. A. Foley
    • 1
  1. 1.Hominid Evolutionary Biology Research GroupDepartment of Biological AnthropologyCambridgeU.K.

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