Evolutionary Anthropology Faculty Database
Evolutionary Anthropology
Arts & Sciences
Duke University

 HOME > Arts & Sciences > BAA > Faculty    Search Help Login pdf version printable version 
Evaluations

Publications [#337817] of Herman Pontzer

search PubMed.

Journal Articles

  1. Pontzer, H; Raichlen, DA; Gordon, AD; Schroepfer-Walker, KK; Hare, B; O'Neill, MC; Muldoon, KM; Dunsworth, HM; Wood, BM; Isler, K; Burkart, J; Irwin, M; Shumaker, RW; Lonsdorf, EV; Ross, SR, Primate energy expenditure and life history., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 111 no. 4 (January, 2014), pp. 1433-1437 [doi]
    (last updated on 2019/07/19)

    Abstract:
    Humans and other primates are distinct among placental mammals in having exceptionally slow rates of growth, reproduction, and aging. Primates' slow life history schedules are generally thought to reflect an evolved strategy of allocating energy away from growth and reproduction and toward somatic investment, particularly to the development and maintenance of large brains. Here we examine an alternative explanation: that primates' slow life histories reflect low total energy expenditure (TEE) (kilocalories per day) relative to other placental mammals. We compared doubly labeled water measurements of TEE among 17 primate species with similar measures for other placental mammals. We found that primates use remarkably little energy each day, expending on average only 50% of the energy expected for a placental mammal of similar mass. Such large differences in TEE are not easily explained by differences in physical activity, and instead appear to reflect systemic metabolic adaptation for low energy expenditures in primates. Indeed, comparisons of wild and captive primate populations indicate similar levels of energy expenditure. Broad interspecific comparisons of growth, reproduction, and maximum life span indicate that primates' slow metabolic rates contribute to their characteristically slow life histories.


Duke University * Arts & Sciences * BAA * Faculty All * Postdoc Staff * Non-PHD Staff * Staff * Grads * Reload * Login