Energy is fundamental to life, needed for growth, reproduction and other essential tasks. Humans are unique among the other living apes in having exceptionally long lifespans and frequent reproduction. In this talk I present recent work indicating that these life history differences are linked to evolved changes in metabolic rate and energy allocation. Examination of the ecological and archeological correlates of metabolic change suggests these physiological changes evolved early in the genus Homo, nearly 2 million years ago.
Herman Pontzer, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Hunter College, City University of New York