A Blow to the 'Grandmother Theory'

Science  24 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5363, pp. 516
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5363.516

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Last February, anthropologists announced an evolutionary explanation for menopause: It's advantageous for human females to live long after childbearing to help feed their grandchildren, a notion taken from studies of hunter-gatherer societies. But now a study of old female lions and baboons, published in this week's issue of Nature, has found that in these species, grandmothers' investments in feeding and protecting their grandchildren had no impact on the youngsters' survival when compared to those lacking grandmothers.