ANT101H5 Lecture Notes - Haplorhini, Ethology, Bipedalism

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31 Jan 2013
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Chapter 7 Lecture
Primates: Characteristics and Anatomical Adaptations
What are the basic characteristics of primates?
Primates are Generalized
Primates have longer maturation, greater dependence on behavioral
flexibility and social groups (usually with resident males)
Generalized
Quite generalized with a lot of primitive
Generalized locomotion
Generalized diet (fruit eaters, grass eaters)
Primate Group Tendencies
Page 117-120
Grasping hands and often grasping feet
o Opposable thumbs
Use sound and smell for marking
There is a big focus on vision highly developed in primates
Increased brain capacity
Evolutionary Factors
Discussed on pages 120-121
Grasping hands, generalized diet and feet and vision is focused on
Adaptations for living in the tree tops (for most primates in general)
o Selection for particular group tendencies
Adaptation for hunting small prey with visions (ie. insects)
o Using vision instead of scent
These adaptations are due to a focus on foods that are associated with
flowering plants
o Flowers and fruits have a lot of nutrients in them
Primate ancestors developed right around the same time as developing
plants
Could be for new opportunity for food (many of which are colored and up in
the tree tops) these are selected for these traits
All three ideas of evolutionary advantages are not discrete but rather
overlapping
Diet & Teeth
Figure 6-6, p 120-124
Interested because a major source when looking at fossils
Can tell a lot about diet from looking at teeth
Most primates tend to be medium everything when their dentition is involve
o Do not have enormous canines
o Incisors can be very long and sharp
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