Humans lifespan is characterized by delayed maturation. Delayed maturation may arise when juvenile mortality is reduced. Recent research suggests that juvenile mortality reduction could be achieved via provisioning to weaned juveniles, particularly during health crises. Here I test this idea with data on the causes, distribution, and duration of injuries and illnesses suffered by Shiwiar forager-horticulturalists during the juvenile period. Health insults for which prolonged care is necessary for survival are a recurrent feature of the juvenile lifespan. About half the individuals for whom data on disability duration were gathered suffered health insults likely to be lethal without extended aid; over 80% were born after a parent suffered such an event; and over 90% were born after a direct ancestor in the two ascending generations suffered such an event. The data indicate that health-care provisioning reduces juvenile mortality, and that provisioning of sick and injured juveniles has important fitness consequences in this population.
Sugiyama, L. (2004), "PATTERNS OF SHIWIAR HEALTH INSULTS INDICATE THAT PROVISIONING DURING HEALTH CRISES REDUCES JUVENILE MORTALITY", Alvard, M. (Ed.) Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 379-402. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0190-1281(04)23016-5Download as .RIS
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