|Title||Human generation times across the past 250,000 years.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Wang, RJ, Al-Saffar, SI, Rogers, J, Hahn, MW|
|Date Published||2023 Jan 06|
The generation times of our recent ancestors can tell us about both the biology and social organization of prehistoric humans, placing human evolution on an absolute time scale. We present a method for predicting historical male and female generation times based on changes in the mutation spectrum. Our analyses of whole-genome data reveal an average generation time of 26.9 years across the past 250,000 years, with fathers consistently older (30.7 years) than mothers (23.2 years). Shifts in sex-averaged generation times have been driven primarily by changes to the age of paternity, although we report a substantial increase in female generation times in the recent past. We also find a large difference in generation times among populations, reaching back to a time when all humans occupied Africa.
|Alternate Journal||Sci Adv|
|PubMed Central ID||PMC9821931|