Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

On the Age-Specific Selection and the Emergence of Extensive Lifespan beyond Menopause

Version 1 : Received: 7 May 2019 / Approved: 9 May 2019 / Online: 9 May 2019 (11:42:00 CEST)

How to cite: Pang, T.Y. On the Age-Specific Selection and the Emergence of Extensive Lifespan beyond Menopause. Preprints 2019, 2019050104 Pang, T.Y. On the Age-Specific Selection and the Emergence of Extensive Lifespan beyond Menopause. Preprints 2019, 2019050104

Abstract

Extensive post reproductive lifespan (PRLS) is observed only in a few species, such as humans or resident killer whales, and its origin is under debate. Hypotheses like mother-care and grandmother-care invoke strategies of investment—provision to one’s descendants to enhance one’s overall reproductive success—to explain PRLS. The contribution of an investment strategy varies with the age of the caregiver, as the number of care-receiving descendant changes with age. Here we simulated an agent based model, which is sensitive to age-specific selection, to examine how the investment strategies in different hypotheses affect survival and reproduction across different stages of life. We found that extensive PRLS emerges if we combine multiple investment strategies, including grandmother-care but not mother-care, which allow an individual to have an increasing contribution as it ages. We also found that, if mother-care is further introduced to the PRLS-enabling strategies, it will let contribution at mid-life to substitute contribution at late life, which consequently terminates extensive PRLS.

Subject Areas

ageing, menopause

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