Active fathers may have been a key factor in why our early ancestors were able to have many children, a study suggests.
- Dads may have helped early humans have more children.
- Only 9 to 10 percent of all mammal species have males that help females raise their young.
- Early human ancestor dads may have helped with bathing and feeding of their kids.
The males among our earliest human ancestors may have helped jumpstart the modern human population explosion by helping females with child rearing.
This paternal investment resembled the kind of hands-on parenting many dads still display, Northwestern University researcher Lee T. Gettler suggests in a new anthropological model of human evolution.
As there are in the modern era, there were some deadbeat dads who didn't lend a hand with child care in the distant past.
"Other men might have been highly involved with direct care, engaging in behaviors not unlike what involved fathers do today," Gettler, a doctoral candidate at Northwestern, told Discovery News.