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How Humans Evolved Textbook Notes: Part 2 Primate Ecology and Behaviour Chapter 5, 6, 7, 8

17 Pages

Course Code
ANTH 203
Michael Bisson

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Primate Ecology and Behaviour Part 2Chapter 5Primate Diversity and Ecology Two Reasons to Study Primates Help us to understand human evolution o Closely related species tend to be similar morphologically they share traits of decent through a common ancestorReasoning by homology o Natural selection leads to similar organisms in similar environments We can see how evolution shapes adaptation in response to different selective pressures Reasoning by analogyPrimates Are Our Closest Relatives Because humans and other primates share many characteristics other primates provide valuable insights about early humansHumans are closely related to nonhuman primates than to any other animal speciesPrimates Are a Diverse Order Diversity within the primate order helps us to understand how natural selection shapes behaviourAnimals closely related to one another phylogenetically tend to be very similar in morphology physiology life history and behaviour Differences observed among closely related species are likely to represent adaptive responses to specific ecological conditions Similarities among more distantly related creatures living under similar ecological conditions are likely to be the product of convergenceo Comparative method used to explain the patterns of variation in morphology and behaviour observed in natureSexual dimorphism differences in male and female body sizeFeatures that Define Primates1 Flexible movement of hands and feet 2 Nails as opposed to claws and sensitive tactile pads with fingerprints on fingers and toes 3 Movement is hindlimb dominated4 An unspecialized olfactory smelling apparatus that is reduced in diurnal primates 5 Visual sense is highly developed stereoscopicbinocular vision 6 Females have small littersLonger pregnancies 7 Large brain compared to the brains of similarly sizes mammals 8 Unspecialized molars maximum of two incisors one canine and three premolars and three molars on upper and lower jawTeeth used to process food Used as weapons in conflicts with other animalsNone of these traits make primates uniqueNot every primate possesses these traits Primate DiversityThe Strepsirrhines Divided into two infraorders o LemuriformesOnly found on Madagascar and the Comoro Islands Evolved in total isolation from other primates Underwent adaptive radiation Half are diurnal others are nocturnal and some are active during the day and nightFemales dominate males o LorisiformesSmall nocturnal arboreal residents of the forest of Africa and AsiaIncludes two subfamilies with different types of locomotion and activity patterns Ex Galagos lorises The Haplorrhines Containes three infraorders o TarsiiformesIncludes tarsiers Live in rain forestsSmall nocturnal aboreal move by vertical clinging or leaping Often more than one breeding female not always pairbondedRely exclusively on animal matter insects and vertebrate prey o Platyrrhini New World Monkeys Found in South and Central AmericaDivided into 5 separate families Aotidae Atelidae Callitrichidae Cebidae and PitheciidaeConsiderable diversity size diet social organization
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