We recently used the fossil record to examine theoretical predictions that had been made about demographic age-structure changes in human evolution (Caspari and Lee, 2004). Although it had been suggested that longevity increased in early Homo populations based on brain size increases and other correlates of longevity, this question, and others involving changes in age structure, had not previously been addressed using the fossil record. Our paper on adult survivorship was empirical; we were careful to make our assumptions explicit, and we were cautious in the interpretation of our results. These interpretations could be easily biased by preconceived ideas about the relationships between the groups studied, and for that reason we avoided taxonomic or phylogenetic assumptions, focusing instead on variation over time. In his commentary, Minichillo (2005) makes * Corresponding author
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