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Lecture 1 - Introduction to Primates

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Joyce Parga

Lecture 1 - Introduction to Primates Thursday, January 10, 2013 1:31 PM Taxonomy How To Classify Primates Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia There are many orders within the class Mammalia, such as: Rodentia(rats, mice, guinea pigs etc.), Chiroptera(bats), Cetacea (dolphins,porpoises etc.), Lagomorpha(cats), Carvnivora (lions) Order Primates General Characteristics • Large brain relative to bodysize • Binocularvision (stereoscopic vision) ○ Means we see in 3D ○ Different hypotheses for why  3-dimensional arboreal environment  "Visual predation"hypothesis - earliest primates were probablyinsectivores • Nails instead of claws • Opposable thumb • Divergent big toe • Dermatoglyphs (fingerprints) • Clavicle (collarbone) • Post-orbital bar (a cranial feature) Primates Prosimians Anthropoids - Monkeys - Apes - Humans Prosimians: General Characteristics • Small-bodied • Chemical communicationvia scent-marking common (olfactory communication) • Toothcomb(modified incisors and canines) • Grooming claw of 2nd toe (also used for scratching and fighting) • Tapetum lucidem (clear indication that it is active at night) Prosimians • Lemurs, lorises, pottos, galagos, tarsiers • Restricted to Old World (Africa, Asia) - see map from pg. 44 of Strier text • Lemurs are only foundon the island of Madagascar • Tarsiers are onlyfound in Asia • Lorises & galagos: Africa and South Asia Geographic Distribution of Extant Prosimians Lemurs • Only found on the island of Madagascar • Many are nocturnal,some are diurnal,others cathemeral (active duringday and night) • Some species show "female dominance" ○ You won't really find this outside of lemurs Lemur catta (Ring-tailed lemur) • Female dominant • Troop size can be as large as 30 animals • Diurnal…? ○ Probably cathemeral, nocturnalduringmating season, still be researched • Many vocalizations(howl, bark, purr, mew) ○ 22 vocalizations • Sexually monomorphic(ma
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