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Old Teeth

Recent archaeological evidence suggests that in early social structures, it was the women, rather than men, who would move away from the family group. Although little is known of these primitive humans, careful dental analysis indicates that males were born, lived and died in the same geographical area and social group. Females, by contrast, moved from their birthplace as they reached sexual maturity. These females, who left either voluntarily or by force, would find a mate, raise children and die miles from where they were born. One theory behind these findings is that males were required to defend the homestead against potential male intruders and therefore in order to avoid inbreeding, females had to leave and seek a partner.  This pattern of social behaviour mirrors that exhibited by young female chimpanzees. Dr Sandi Copeland of the University of Colorado commented on the findings: “we were somewhat surprised at our major finding that there were statistical differences between [the sexes] … At least 50 percent of females did not grow up in the area where they eventually died.” By comparison the same study found just 10% of the males seem to have grown up and died in different areas. The findings have caused scientists to reconsider previous theories on the origins of bimetallism.  Popular theory was that walking on two legs came about in order for males to travel long distances in search of food. According to Dr Copeland, however, “the ranging of the landscape seems to be a little more restricted than we at first thought and it seems to be divided along lines of males and females … We assumed more of the hominids would be from non-local areas, since it is generally thought the evolution of bipedalism was due in part to allow individuals to range longer distances.”

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