Birth spacing patterns in humans and apes

Biruté M.F. Galdikas, James William Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Comparative studies of birth interval dynamics in wild primates suffer from several problems of analysis and interpretation: (1) the data are always right‐censored, (2) sample sizes are usually small, (3) the distribution of birth intervals is expected to be non‐normal, (4) early offspring mortality is a confounding variable, and (5) differences in life history (e.g., presence or absence of menopause) can complicate interpretation of the results. A survival analysis designed to minimize these problems is applied to published data on wild chimpanzees and gorillas from Gombe and Virunga Parks, respectively, and to new data on wild orangutans from Tanjung Puting National Park and on a human population, the Gainj of highland Papua New Guinea. According to this analysis, the estimated median birth interval (when the offspring whose birth opens the interval does not die within the interval) is 43.3 ± 1.0 months for the Gainj, 45.5 ± 1.2 months for gorillas, 66.6 ± 1.3 months for chimpanzees, and 92.6 ± 2.4 months for orangutans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Fingerprint

Birth Intervals
Hominidae
Pongo
Gorilla gorilla
Pan troglodytes
Papua New Guinea
menopause
interpretation
Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
Papua-New Guinea
Survival Analysis
Menopause
national park
Sample Size
Primates
mortality
Mortality
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

Cite this

Galdikas, Biruté M.F. ; Wood, James William. / Birth spacing patterns in humans and apes. In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 1990 ; Vol. 83, No. 2. pp. 185-191.
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Birth spacing patterns in humans and apes. / Galdikas, Biruté M.F.; Wood, James William.

In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 83, No. 2, 01.01.1990, p. 185-191.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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