Limits...
Can persistence hunting signal male quality? A test considering digit ratio in endurance athletes.

Longman D, Wells JC, Stock JT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Various theories have been posed to explain the fitness payoffs of hunting success among hunter-gatherers. 'Having' theories refer to the acquisition of resources, and include the direct provisioning hypothesis.Digit ratio was significantly and positively correlated with half-marathon time in males (right hand: r = 0.45, p<0.001; left hand: r = 0.42, p<0.001) and females (right hand: r = 0.26, p<0.01; left hand: r = 0.23, p = 0.02).However, further work is required to establish whether and how females respond to this signalling for fitness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Various theories have been posed to explain the fitness payoffs of hunting success among hunter-gatherers. 'Having' theories refer to the acquisition of resources, and include the direct provisioning hypothesis. In contrast, 'getting' theories concern the signalling of male resourcefulness and other desirable traits, such as athleticism and intelligence, via hunting prowess. We investigated the association between androgenisation and endurance running ability as a potential signalling mechanism, whereby running prowess, vital for persistence hunting, might be used as a reliable signal of male reproductive fitness by females. Digit ratio (2D:4D) was used as a proxy for prenatal androgenisation in 439 males and 103 females, while a half marathon race (21km), representing a distance/duration comparable with that of persistence hunting, was used to assess running ability. Digit ratio was significantly and positively correlated with half-marathon time in males (right hand: r = 0.45, p<0.001; left hand: r = 0.42, p<0.001) and females (right hand: r = 0.26, p<0.01; left hand: r = 0.23, p = 0.02). Sex-interaction analysis showed that this correlation was significantly stronger in males than females, suggesting that androgenisation may have experienced stronger selective pressure from endurance running in males. As digit ratio has previously been shown to predict reproductive success, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that endurance running ability may signal reproductive potential in males, through its association with prenatal androgen exposure. However, further work is required to establish whether and how females respond to this signalling for fitness.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Conceptual diagram outlining a potential mechanism by which hunting success and running performance act as a signal of reproductive fitness.
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pone.0121560.g002: Conceptual diagram outlining a potential mechanism by which hunting success and running performance act as a signal of reproductive fitness.

Mentions: A marker of testosterone exposure is therefore associated with running ability, which ethnographic evidence has shown to be an important attribute for hunting [37]. As testosterone (including the 2D:4D ratio) has been consistently associated with reproductive success [47], this relationship between endurance running ability and digit ratio provides mechanistic evidence in support of the hypothesis that running prowess could act as a reliable signal for male reproductive potential. A conceptual diagram outlining this potential mechanism by which hunting success and running performance could act as a signal of reproductive fitness is given below in Fig. 2.


Can persistence hunting signal male quality? A test considering digit ratio in endurance athletes.

Longman D, Wells JC, Stock JT - PLoS ONE (2015)

Conceptual diagram outlining a potential mechanism by which hunting success and running performance act as a signal of reproductive fitness.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4390232&req=5

pone.0121560.g002: Conceptual diagram outlining a potential mechanism by which hunting success and running performance act as a signal of reproductive fitness.
Mentions: A marker of testosterone exposure is therefore associated with running ability, which ethnographic evidence has shown to be an important attribute for hunting [37]. As testosterone (including the 2D:4D ratio) has been consistently associated with reproductive success [47], this relationship between endurance running ability and digit ratio provides mechanistic evidence in support of the hypothesis that running prowess could act as a reliable signal for male reproductive potential. A conceptual diagram outlining this potential mechanism by which hunting success and running performance could act as a signal of reproductive fitness is given below in Fig. 2.

Bottom Line: Various theories have been posed to explain the fitness payoffs of hunting success among hunter-gatherers. 'Having' theories refer to the acquisition of resources, and include the direct provisioning hypothesis.Digit ratio was significantly and positively correlated with half-marathon time in males (right hand: r = 0.45, p<0.001; left hand: r = 0.42, p<0.001) and females (right hand: r = 0.26, p<0.01; left hand: r = 0.23, p = 0.02).However, further work is required to establish whether and how females respond to this signalling for fitness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Various theories have been posed to explain the fitness payoffs of hunting success among hunter-gatherers. 'Having' theories refer to the acquisition of resources, and include the direct provisioning hypothesis. In contrast, 'getting' theories concern the signalling of male resourcefulness and other desirable traits, such as athleticism and intelligence, via hunting prowess. We investigated the association between androgenisation and endurance running ability as a potential signalling mechanism, whereby running prowess, vital for persistence hunting, might be used as a reliable signal of male reproductive fitness by females. Digit ratio (2D:4D) was used as a proxy for prenatal androgenisation in 439 males and 103 females, while a half marathon race (21km), representing a distance/duration comparable with that of persistence hunting, was used to assess running ability. Digit ratio was significantly and positively correlated with half-marathon time in males (right hand: r = 0.45, p<0.001; left hand: r = 0.42, p<0.001) and females (right hand: r = 0.26, p<0.01; left hand: r = 0.23, p = 0.02). Sex-interaction analysis showed that this correlation was significantly stronger in males than females, suggesting that androgenisation may have experienced stronger selective pressure from endurance running in males. As digit ratio has previously been shown to predict reproductive success, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that endurance running ability may signal reproductive potential in males, through its association with prenatal androgen exposure. However, further work is required to establish whether and how females respond to this signalling for fitness.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus