Original paper

Evolutionsbiologische Aspekte der Plazentophagie

[Evolutional and biological aspects of placentophagia]

Menges, Maria


Over the last 30 years it could be observed that a very small minority of modern humans consumes the human placenta that belongs to the afterbirth. This behavior,which is known by the technical term of placentophagia,is the focal point of the present essay. Placentophagia is a behavior common among almost all kinds of mammals,even primates can be observed ingesting at least amniotic fluid during the birth. However,humans of traditional human cultures consume the afterbirth only in rare cases. In detail,the present essay discusses the hypothesis that human placentophagia has a phylogenetic basis and the hypothesis that human placentophagia is physiologically reasonable. It is concluded that the behavior of the human placentophagia neither possesses a phylogenetic basis nor can be regarded as physiologically reasonable


Placentophagiamammalsprimatestraditional culturesmodern humans.