(Independent) Early women had to go forth and multiply, while men stayed home
Some 90 per cent of men seem to have lived and died in the place where they were born compared to half of women
The fossilised teeth of early human ancestors who lived two million years ago in southern Africa have provided a remarkable insight into their social organisation, which appears to have resulted in the females moving away from their childhood homes when they reached adulthood.
Virtually nothing is known about how these ape-like people lived but analysis of their teeth suggests males lived and died where they were born while females moved from their birthplace to raise families many miles away, where they then died.
The findings suggest ancestral populations had a social structure that depended on males living in one area, and possibly defending their territory against intruders, whilst females moved from one place to another when they reached adolescence, either voluntarily or by force.
Researchers said the findings show a difference between the sexes in terms of roaming. They suggest the pattern is similar to how young female chimpanzees tend to move away from their family, which avoids inbreeding with male relatives.
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Also see Do We Need Promiscuous Females to Survive?, Come Face to Face With a Human Ancestor, Can You get Seasick Forever? and How Did People Build Such Elaborate Castles?