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Francois Larose

Chapter 5: Primates Why study primates?: ● Primatology: the study of primates (often in relation to humans) ● Relatively recent common ancestor ● More shared physical characteristics ● Early humans evolved in environments similar to those of modern primates What is a primate?: ● Reduced snout/sense of smell ● Binocular, color vision: ○ ability to sense depth because both eyes face forward - this helps with grabbing things, seeing predators and prey ● Textile pads on fingers with dermal ridges (fingerprints) - helps with friction and gripping Teeth & Diet: ● Generalized dental pattern: 2-1-2-3 or 2-1-3-3 ● Lack of specialization ● Humans have larger molars and smaller front teeth - primates are opposite Post-Cranial: ● Prehensile hands and feet ○ ability to grasp ● Opposable thumb and big toe ● Pentadactyl ○ 5 fingers ● Retention of the clavicle (collar-bone) ○ greater arm movement in front limbs ○ ability to reach and manipulate objects ● Large brain-to-body size ratio (brain is very large compared to the body) ○ able to learn ○ longer life span ● Erect upper body ○ straighter spine ○ able to sit comfortably ● Diverse modes of locomotion Modes of Locomotion: ● Brachiation: long arms, short legs ○ “monkey bar” motion ○ lives in forests ○ larger size ● Knuckle-walking: longer arms ○ adapted to moving on the ground ○ apes, gorillas, chimps ● Quadrupedal: proportionate, with long tails ○ walking on all fours ○ walk along tree branches ○ tail is used for balance and may be prehensile Life of Primates: ● Long ge
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