News of the WeekPaleoanthropology

Hominid Harems: Big Males Competed for Small Australopithecine Females

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Science  30 Nov 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5855, pp. 1363
DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5855.1363a

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A study on page 1443 of this week's issue of Science finds that the males of an extinct species of hominid in South Africa took longer to grow up than females and got much larger, suggesting that top males of this australopithecine species invested energy in bodybuilding in order to possess a harem of females, much like silverback gorillas do today.