Uakari monkey Monkeys, Apes and Humans human baby
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Monkeys, Apes and Humans
Anthropology 1500
Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri-Columbia

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Infanticide

Hypothesis

Predictions

Population Control: To prevent overpopulation that threatens group survival. (Good-for-the group)

Infanticide occurs when population density is high. It does not occur when population density is low.

Competition for Resources: Males kill infants to make more resources available to their kin and descendants.

Infanticide should occur when resources are scarce. Males do not kill their own kin or offspring.

Cannibalism: Males kill infants and consume them as food.

Males should be observed to eat infants they kill.

Social Pathology: Langur infanticide is abnormal. They live in an unnatural habitat, disturbed by humans.

Infanticide occurs in langur populations living close to humans. Infanticide is rare in langurs living away from humans.

Reproductive Competition (AKA the Sexual Selection Hypothesis): Langur males kill infants of other males so that females can become fertile sooner and bear their offspring.

Males should kill infants fathered by other males, not their own. Females should become receptive sooner. Killers should have probability of fathering subsequent offspring.

 

 

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