Being Human

Being Human explores topics in anthropology and is created by the faculty of the Anthropology Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The 1-minute segments air at various times throughout the day. 

Being Human
10:20 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

The truth about growth spurts

Do your children sometimes seem to outgrow their clothes or shoes overnight? Research by anthropologist and physician Michelle Lampl has confirmed this conventional wisdom about growth spurts. Children do not grow continuously but rather get taller in brief, rapid periods, likely while they sleep, sometimes growing more than half an inch in a single night. The growing pains that wake some children at night may occur during such spurts. Infants appear to need extra sleep during their growth spurts, explaining some of the irregularity in infant sleep patterns that often frustrates parents.

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Being Human
10:08 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Sex-biased milk production in macaques

In polygynous primate species, males tend to be larger than females, and this sex difference in body size is evident starting very early in life. In humans, for example, boys are (on average) heavier than girls from birth. Anthropologist Katie Hinde thus suspected that nursing mothers may produce milk differently for sons vs. daughters. She investigated this hypothesis by examining the energy density and quantity of milk produced by captive rhesus macaques.

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