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May 11, 2010 at 7:00 P.M.

The Importance of Being Dad: Paternal Care in Primates

Although human males often get criticized for being “deadbeat dads”, the truth is that compared to most mammals, human males are simply outstanding fathers. Join us as Dr. Susan Alberts discusses why we don’t generally expect male mammals to provide paternal care (answer: because we think they usually can’t recognize their own offspring), and the unusual and surprising case of paternal care in a primate species where we least expect to find it.

In the baboons of the Amboseli basin of southern Kenya males differentiate their own offspring from other males’ offspring, and provide care to them. Dr. Alberts will talk about why this should be so, and what it means about males of all species and their tendencies to provide offspring care.

Speaker: Dr. Susan Alberts, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at Duke University