jueves, 27 de abril de 2017

Did Human Ancestor 'Lucy' Have a Midwife?

A mask representing an Australopithecus afarensis,

How might the ancient relative of humanity dubbed "Lucy" have given birth? In a manner in between that of chimpanzees and humans, with newborns undergoing a bit of tilting in the birth canal as they were born, a new study finds.

Lucy and other members of her species may also have relied on midwives, researchers said.

These findings could shed light on how modern human childbirth evolved and made way for large brains, scientists added.

Modern humans give birth in a way quite different from how their primate relatives do it, according to research described in the book "Human Birth: An Evolutionary Perspective" (1987, Aldine Transaction) by Wanda Trevathan. This is likely because of both the unusually large size of the modern human brain and the way a woman's pelvis is positioned for upright walking, Trevathan wrote. Understanding the way in which human childbirth evolved could also shed light on how unique human traits such as large brains and upright postures emerged over time. [...] livescience.com

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