Humans are somewhat notable for the slow rate at which they grow and reach physical maturity. Some related primates also take over a decade to reach sexual maturity.

However, many mammals – including ones like horses that grow quite larger than any primates – reach their maximum size in only a few years, so the slow rate of primate growth is not due to simple biologic or metabolic constraints on mammalian growth rates.

Are there any hypothesized selective pressures that might explain the slow physical growth rates of higher primates?



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