Found this post on reddit, but there wasn't much discussion so I thought I'd bring it here. I think it sounds both interesting and beneficial to people like us.
>Okay I know this sounds random and weird, but I read a while back that the reason human babies are so useless compared to, say, foals or pups, is because (due to the sizes of their heads) they are born early, and they only reach the usual development level when they're a year old. Regardless of this is true, it at least interested me, so what if somehow, humans were, and had always been, able to carry their offspring for that year and then* give birth? How would this effect societal development or, for a question more up this sub's alley, how would those later parts of the pregnancy function? What effects would that have on newborn/infantile development, or on human biology as a whole (or I guess moreso female biology, I doubt males would be terribly effected).
I would very much like this. Also, might greatly slow down overpopulation and make each life more relevant because of the long gestation period and lesser ability for women to get pregnant. At 90 weeks that's almost 2 pregnancy (back to back) and the larger child being carried would be much more of a strain on the mother making time between pregnancies most likely longer.
We should put our top scientists on this.
Update, a comment on the thread:
>Hmm. You'd have to get around the heads-so-big-everyone-dies-in-childbirth problem.
>Coneheads? Tube-brains? Basically the fetal head enlarges by lengthening rather than simply swelling… allowing it to still pass through the birth canal after growing to the volume of a 1yo head…
>OR the species becomes entirely dependent on surgical birth, meaning any woman who is caught away from medical services when going into labor is served an automatic death sentence…
>OR women evolve (somehow, mumble mumble selection pressure mumble plausible incremental pathway) to become non-ambulatory in the last phase of pregnancy, and their pelvis completely deforms or detaches, allowing the birth canal to stretch to absurd sizes to allow the giant head to pass through… presumably the changes would have to be reversed, as it seems non-adaptive to have a woman become permanently immobile after her first pregnancy, even in the modern world.
>I wonder if this would even be adaptive for the infant? Is there any advantage, in a species as highly social as ours, to spending that additional time in the womb becoming more physically developed, when that same 50 weeks could be spent bonding to family members, learning faces, laying down the foundations of social behavior? I don't know. Interesting question.
>There would probably be some physiological changes like wider hips to for allow the larger fetus. Also babies might be able to walk or at least crawl from day 0, like horses and elephants.
>However, it could also be possible that if humans had this extended gestation period the fetus would simply grow at a slower rate, in this case that slower rate of development might mean an extended life span with adolescence lasting into your 40s.
>Your question has got me thinking, how correlated is a species' metabolism to their gestation period? Additionally how correlated is body mass?
The threads never really took off so this is all I got. I still love this idea though, a shame that no discussion really seems to be forming around it.