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The Evolutionary Ecology of Human Infancy


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/13179

The Evolutionary Ecology of Human Infancy

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dc.contributor.author Veile, Amanda
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-31T16:36:09Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-31T16:36:09Z
dc.date.issued 2011-08-31
dc.date.submitted July 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/13179
dc.description.abstract Infancy is a time of profound energetic trade-offs, and in many South American native groups, infant growth is stunted and mortality by infectious disease is high. The goal of this dissertation was to explore the nature of human infancy from a life history theoretical perspective. Specifically, I investigated infant growth, feeding patterns, and thymic development in two South American native populations, the Tsimane of Bolivia and the Pumé of Venezuela. This broad goal is addressed through four specific goals: 1) to model the weaning transition using behavioral data collected in Tsimane communities where infants experience varying mortality rates, 2) to consider the relationship between infant feeding and growth patterns; 3) to compare infant body and thymus size in two South American native societies, and 4) to theorize how the thymus may be shaped by natural selection. Results suggest that infant feeding is a complex and varied process that is influenced more by infant growth than by perceptible mortality risk, and that trade-offs between investment in growth and cellular immune function vary between native communities inhabiting diverse ecologic settings. These findings illuminate the role of early postnatal conditions in shaping maternal behaviors and infant health outcomes; and underscore the pressing need to identify the mechanisms leading to the establishment of immunophenotypes in South American native populations. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject behavior en_US
dc.subject infancy en_US
dc.subject evolution en_US
dc.subject thymus en_US
dc.subject South American natives en_US
dc.subject Bolivia en_US
dc.subject Venezuela en_US
dc.subject development en_US
dc.subject breastfeeding en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Chimane Indians--Health and hygiene
dc.subject.lcsh Yaruro Indians--Health and hygiene
dc.subject.lcsh Infants--Growth
dc.subject.lcsh Infants--Nutrition--Bolivia
dc.subject.lcsh Infants--Nutrition--Venezuela
dc.subject.lcsh Breastfeeding
dc.subject.lcsh Thymus
dc.title The Evolutionary Ecology of Human Infancy en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Anthropology en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Dept. of Anthropology en_US
dc.description.advisor Kaplan, Hillard
dc.description.committee-member Gurven, Michael
dc.description.committee-member Kramer, Karen
dc.description.committee-member Winking, Jeff
dc.description.committee-member Lancaster, Jane

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