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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Scientists have discovered how the ancestors of humans became monogamous

Monogamy, that is, faithful to one partner, which is characteristic for most birds, but is much rarer in mammals. However, the ancestors of humans at a certain stage chose to live in stable pairs. In the new study, a group of American scientists from Kent state University have studied how behind these neurochemical processes and the reasons why monogamy gave ancient primates an evolutionary advantage.

photo: pixabay.com

According to experts, most often the animals practice one of two approaches to maximize the “effective” reproduction: some species tend to leave more offspring, while others bring little cubs, and they devote large amounts of time, thereby increasing the chances that they will survive. Experts came to the conclusion that even more ancient human ancestors than the Australopithecines, prefer the second strategy, and monogamy was helpful in this regard — the male can help the female to get food for their young and protect her, and the competition among males, has become so fierce that partially eliminated the “internal” threats to primates and their offspring. According to scientists, this is evidenced by the greater reproductive success of modern apes, practicing monogamy, in comparison with those who rejected it.

Another scientific work of specialists was devoted to “technical” aspect of the transition to monogamy. As experts explain, social monogamy was facilitated by neurochemical changes in the striatum. This Department, in particular, is associated with the production of dopamine and serotonin, that is it determines what a living being receives positive emotions. Experts drew attention to the fact that monogamy may be related to the specific interaction of two-piece striped body, one of which is “responsible” for internal motivation and the other for the reaction to external stimuli. In favor of these assumptions is also supported by experiments involving humans and various monkeys.

Both studies were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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