Evolutionary Neoteny

by phil on Tuesday Sep 9, 2003 9:12 PM
evolution_old, neoteny

J. Z. Young and Excerpts from An Introduction to the Study of Man

Co-operation to drive, trap, and kill large prey such as antelopes or even elephants requires a reduction of competitive and aggressive behavior between individuals. In a sense this could be said to involve in man the continuation throughout life of the characteristic features found among juveniles of monkey and other animal communities. There are indeed several signs that the evolution of man had involved a process of 'juvenilization' or even 'foetalization'. Such a change, technically called neoteny (or paedomorphosis), has in fact occurred often in the course of the evolution of diverse animals (De Beer 1958).

(A missing assumption is that competitiveness is something advanced later in life)

neoteny definition: "Retention of juvenile characteristics in the adults of a species".

(Thanks Peter)

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