Why a person has a weak smell

People proudly calls himself «king of nature», but by many measures he is pretty inferior to other animals. First of all, it refers to the sense of smell.

Ардипитеки - древние гоминиды

Of all the feelings inherent in the person, the sense of smell should be put in last place. Sometimes it saves lives – helps detect gas leakage or throwing away stale food – and yet the loss of smell makes the person so severely disabled as loss of hearing or vision. Temporary loss of smell people often face, aching runny nose, and tolerated it quite easily. This minor role of smell in human life is related to its weakness: it may not matter much, because it gives too little information about the world.

The weakening of the sense of smell occurred in accordance with the fundamental laws of evolutions: a sign that is no longer critical for survival and of leaving offspring, it was not supported by natural selection. In the descent of man played a large role in the transition to a meat diet, but this did not happen immediately: for quite a long time ancient primates were «vegetarians». When searching for fruits among foliage vision plays a more significant role than the sense of smell, and visually impaired individuals was much more likely to die from hunger, not leaving offspring than individuals with a bad scent. But in order for a symptom of entrenched, is not enough, so it is not harmful – need to bring some benefit.

The answer lies in the lifestyle of the ancient hominid. Once scientists have built a picture of him on the example closest to the human animal – chimpanzee. These monkeys are inherent promiscuity: any female in the pack may mate with any male, and only male hierarchy somehow streamline the process, high-ranking individuals get more «friends» than low ranked. Further studies of fossil primates – in particular, ardipithecus is forced to make adjustments to this picture.

The male monkeys that are characterized by the promiscuity, the canines are much larger than females because they literally «win» the right to reproduction. Man and his fossil ancestors such features there, and it made the American anthropologist O. Lovejoy to assume that human ancestors ensured their reproductive success in another way – creating a permanent pair.

The strategy of monogamy is characteristic of only 5% mammals, and it is based on the principle of «sex in exchange for food.» A major role when choosing a partner belongs to the person who invests in offspring more resources – in primates is the female and the greatest chance in such conditions are those males that are better feed their «ladies». In this sense, males are deprived of a good smell because of the mutations that were out of competition.

The greatest amount of food the female receives from the male in those days when it is most attractive to him – during ovulation and at other times, he may not be interested in the female not to feed her. The offensive these days males determine by smell, instinctively reacting to his change. If the male was distinguished by a weak sense of smell, change of smell didn’t matter to him, he had an interest in the female and fed her constantly. These «gentlemen» liked «the ladies» and, accordingly, were more likely to leave offspring. The weakening of the sense of smell is the price that the evolutionary ancestors of man paid the price for his strategy for the survival of the species.

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