Anthropology – Lesson 3
Grasping extremities – hand is good for holding/grasping things. Human feet cannot grasp but some primates can. Some
have opposable big toe.
Differences b/w squirrels foot and primate’s foot: Squirrels have claws and no opposable big toes.
Relatively large brain to their body size in comparison to other mammals
Primates are eyes-first animals, whereas dogs are nose-first. Primates have smaller noses than other mammals (e.g.
horse). Eyes face forward (convergence) rather than on the side.
First-eye: We use our eyes first when we observe something we don’t know. Dogs however, use their nose and
sniff around to learn about something.
Brain can take input from both eyes and get information on distance and get the 3-d shape of reality (visions overlap,
stereoscopic versions). Refer to ppt for eye diagram
E.g. horse sees through parallax (put finger in front of your face, and close one eye alternatively and your finger
‘moves’). Horses cannot see things that is right in front of them
Crypsis – can see things that are in a complicated background to catch prey
Postorbital bar – can see things more clearly when chewing. It prevents much eye movement when chewing
Primates live in tropical forest because they like to eat fruit. They lives along the equator. Primates depend on trees for
habitat or food.
Life history traits – long gestation periods for mammals of their body size (spend a lot of time in the womb), long period
of infant dependency (to improve and foster social life)
k-selected: individuals produce very few offspring but invest much care to the offspring. A lot of parental care. Primates
and humans are k-selective.
r-selected: emphasized developing large amount of offspring but shows less parental care.
Overview of living on-human primates
(refer to ppt for classification of primates)
Prosimii = most primitive primates that are still alive today. Tend to be similar to first definitive fossil primates (smaller
brains), less sueccessful than anthopoidea.
Lemurs live only in Madagascar. TheydDid not have any competition with other primates, so there is a large diversity of
primates in Madagascar (through adaptive radiation). Big lemurs became extinct b/c humans hunted them. They
specialize for vertical clinging leaping. (refer pic in ppt) Monday, September-24-12
Ring tailed lemurs
smallest living primates (3 grams), big eyes, they are diurnal (opposite of nocturnal)
largest living nocturnal primate, big ears, population keeps growing
3 finger is long and twig-like (a thin branch).
Tap the tree with their twig-like fingers and listen to hear if the tree is hallow (they put their large ears on the
tree), then they bite the tree to make a hole and grabs the living insect.
Endangered b/c considered to be bad luck so they shoot them on sight.
Lives on mainland Africa and Asia.
Purely nocturnal. Avoided competing with other monkeys by being nocturnal.
Slow moving animal to avoid being noticed by moving extremely slowly to sneak away and blend in their
surroundings. B/c of this they are limited in what they can eat (insects are fast), so they eat slow-moving insects
Only in Africa.
Avoid predator by running away. Have very long leg, so it is vertical climber. Wet nose.
Long ankle bones (refer to ppt), so feet is very long.
Large eyes. Each eye is the size of the brain.
They can turn their heads 180 degree. A good way to survive so they can see predators from all angles
Only living primates that don’t eat any veggies. Closely related to humans. Do not have wet nose. Monday, September-24-12
New World Monkeys
Flat round nostrils. They are arboreal.