It has been claimed that human males have a successful reproduction rate of about 40%, whereas females have 80%. This leads to the claim that we have about twice as many unique female ancestors as male. My understanding is that this claim is based on looking at the ratio of the number of generations to our most recent female common ancestor and our most recent male one.

Do we have similar data for other species? I'm especially interested in whether there are species where the number of unique male ancestors is greater than the number of female ones. Is a role reversal, like in seahorses, is sufficient to invert the ratio? Does the ratio invert for bees and ants (species where I understand, each female mates with more than one male)?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting question, but note that bees and ants are a very special circumstance where many of the individuals are of non-mating castes; it doesn't make much sense to think about their reproductive success because they aren't really participating in reproduction. My suggestion would be to leave those cases out of your consideration, or only consider the mating individuals. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jun 14 '17 at 16:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.