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The conspicuous absence of placenta consumption in human postpartum females: the fire hypothesis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22632060     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The absence of human placentophagy, the maternal consumption of the afterbirth, is puzzling given its ubiquity and probable adaptive value in other mammals. We propose that human fire use may have led to placentophagy avoidance in our species. In our environment of evolutionary adaptedness, gravid women would likely have been regularly exposed to smoke and ash, which is known to contain harmful substances. Because the placenta filters some toxicants which then accumulate there across pregnancy, maternal placentophagy may have had deleterious consequences for the overall fitness of mother, offspring, or both, leading to its elimination from our species' behavioral repertoire.
Authors:
Sharon M Young; Daniel C Benyshek; Pierre Lienard
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ecology of food and nutrition     Volume:  51     ISSN:  1543-5237     ISO Abbreviation:  Ecol Food Nutr     Publication Date:  2012 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-05-28     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0315073     Medline TA:  Ecol Food Nutr     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  198-217     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
a Department of Anthropology , University of Nevada , Las Vegas , Nevada , USA.
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