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Ontogeny, Life History, and Maternal Investment in Baboons

  • Steven R. Leigh
  • Robin M. Bernstein
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)

Chapter Summary

This chapter compares the ontogeny of Papio baboons to other papionin primates through a theoretical perspective that prioritizes ontogeny in the study of life history. This viewpoint anticipates that life history variables are dissociable, or capable of responding to selection independent of one another. The result is diversity in how primate life histories unfold. Papio baboons provide excellent evidence for this view of life history, illustrating a mode of life history with clear ties to female reproduction. Specifically, relative to other papionins, life history in Papio baboons involves tightly coordinated patterns of development for somatic variables, including body mass, skeletal dimensions, and dental eruption. Growth hormones in Papio baboons are highly intercorrelated. However, brain growth follows a distinct pattern from other systems, ceasing very early in Papio baboons.

This life history mode reflects heavy metabolic burdens on baboon mothers to produce “high-quality” offspring that can cope with intense select during early postnatal development. Brain growth is dissociated from development of other somatic systems, inducing high maternal gestational costs, but possibly reflecting the neural capabilities to survive the infant period. These costs appear to have selectively favored an integrated pattern of somatic, dental, and hormonal development, along with large female adult size. Ties between reproduction and life history are integral to understanding baboon evolution.

Keywords

Life History Rhesus Macaque Brain Size Brain Growth Maternal Investment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven R. Leigh
    • 1
  • Robin M. Bernstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyGeorge Washington UniversityWashington D.C.USA

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