The Evolution of Childhood Is Very Strange

Brenna Hassett in Sapiens:

Humans are weird. We’re weird for many reasons, including planetary domination, plus a long tale of lost penis spikes, viral body parts, unripe yet overly large babies, shapeshifting milk, and that radical force of evolution: grandmothers.

One of the most startling adaptations our species has made is the long, long journey we make to grow up human. We take nearly the same time to grow up as a 100-ton bowhead whale, who is going to live at least a century longer than us. The path to making such an incredible investment in our forever-children has made surprising turns throughout our history. Many of these twists are only now coming to light as new generations of researchers ask new questions.

More here.