The evolution of the patterning of human lactation: A comparative perspective


  • Maria A. Van Noordwijk,

  • Christopher W. Kuzawa,

  • Carel P. Van Schaik


Some four decades ago, Jeanne Altmann started her detailed field studies of baboon mothers and their infants with a focus on the behavioral ecology of maternal reproductive investment.[1] Around the same time, Sarah Hrdy studied langur mothers and their infants, focusing on the influence of the social environment on a female's reproductive options and decisions.[2] Their pioneering work has inspired many subsequent studies of female primate reproduction in its natural context and shaped our own work on primate mothers.