they highlight that the sexual division of tasks among the youngest members of the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer groups would not be influenced by differences in energy expenditure between boys and girls. The division of tasks by sex is widespread among hunter-gatherer groups today. Between the ages of 7 and 10, boys and girls begin to differentiate themselves in their productive activities. They gradually abandon the practice of gathering while they continue to do it throughout their lives. It is usually assumed that something similar would occur during the Paleolithic. Girls and boys expended equal amounts of energy during simulated harvesting To carry out this study, the researchers measured the energy expenditure of 42 boys and girls, between 8 and 14 years

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old, during an activity that simulated the collection of fruits, a Malta WhatsApp Number List frequent task at those ages among hunter-gatherer groups. “One might think that the differentiation of tasks by sex at these ages is explained by the fact that the task in question is more costly energetically for one sex than for the other, but this is not the case. In our experiment, boys and girls expended equal amounts of energy during simulated harvesting. This fact has important implications for behavioral ecology ”, explains Ana Mateos, leader of the Paleophysiology and human ecology group. In the years before the growth spurt of adolescence, growth slows and a small body size is maintained. As Guillermo Zorrilla-Revilla, co-author of this study points out, “it is well known that larger

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individuals expend more energy than smaller ones when performing the same task. Starting to practice skills such as harvesting at those ages allows doing it with a relatively low energy cost ”. Time for learning Excluding differences in energy expenditure as a possible explanation for the division of tasks, the authors defend that this practice may be related to learning . Many livelihood tasks require long periods of learning through doing. Improving these skills at an early age, in which the body size is small, allows it to be done with a low energy cost. “Boys do not abandon harvesting because they have a higher energy expenditure than girls, but because they start to practice and learn other activities that they will do when they are adults.” , indicates Jesús

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