Children on the reef: Slow learning or strategic foraging?

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82 Scopus citations


Meriam children are active reef-flat collectors. We demonstrate that while foraging on the reef, children are significantly less selective than adults. This difference and the precise nature of children's selectivity while reef-flat collecting are consistent with a hypothesis that both children and adults attempt to maximize their rate of return while foraging, but in so doing they face different constraints relative to differences in walking speeds while searching. Implications of these results for general arguments about factors that shape differences between child and adult behavior and human life-histories are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-297
Number of pages29
JournalHuman Nature
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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