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ANT203H5 Lecture Notes - Mouse Lemur, Mandibular Symphysis, Fork-Marked Lemur

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Esteban Parra

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ANT203Y5 – Biological Anthropology
Lecture 23 – January 28, 2014
Strepsirhini and Tarsiers
Traditional Classification
-Prosimii is a polyphyletic grouping
-Anthropoidea is a paraphyletic grouping
Phylogenetic Reconstruction
-All monophyletic groupings
Taxonomy of the Suborder Strepsirhini
-Lemuriformes lives in Africa
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ANT203Y5 – Biological Anthropology
Lecture 23 – January 28, 2014
Main Characteristics of the Suborder Strepsirhini
-Primitive traits.
oMoist, naked rhinarium with upper lip attached internally
oUnfused mandible
oPlacenta is simple, diffuse, and nondeciduate
-Derived traits.
oGrooming claw on second pedal digit
oIncisors and canines of the lower jaw form a “grooming” comb (except in the
Indriidae and Daubentonia)
oGenerally large eyes, and always a “tapetum lucidum” behind the retina,
indicating nocturnal adaptation
-Gray bamboo lemur
oHuge eyes (tapetum lucidum)
Strepsirhini Hand (Left) and Foot (Right, Showing the “Grooming Claw”)
-Aye-aye are highly endangered and highly unique having a long middle finger for eating
Dental Comb
-They use part of the comb for grooming
-Premolars have adapted more or less into the morphology of a canine
Superfamily Lemuroidea (Lemurs)
-Lemurs are restricted to the island of Madagascar, off the coast of East Africa.
-Let’s review the history of this fascinating island….
Geologic History of Madagascar
-Madagascar separated from Africa more than 120 million years ago, before the evolution
of most modern groups of mammals.
oMany species living in Madagascar are seen no where
-It is believed that, after the separation of Madagascar from Africa, a small number of
mammals made it to the island, probably rafting” on floating mats of vegetation.
Among these mammals were the ancestors of Lemurs…
More About Madagascar
-80% of Malagasy plants and animals are not found anywhere else in the world.
-Lemurs found many empty niches to exploit, and there was a remarkable adaptive
radiation, that gave rise to the large number of species found today in the island
(although many of them are endangered).
-Anthropoids, which otherwise would have been competing with lemurs for resources,
never made it to Madagascar.
-Here are some examples of Malagasy Lemurs.
Daubentoniidae Aye-Aye
-Aye-ayes are very unique due to their chisel teeth (1013/1003) and long middle finger,
which they use for feeding
-They are nocturnal and occupy a woodpecker niche, eating wood-boring larvae.
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