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Primate 1

Course Code
Christopher Watts

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Primate Behavior and Ecology
Primate Characteristics
Mammals, not pets; differ from most mammals by having grasping hands and feet,
collarbone (Clavicle), radius and ulna, forward facing eyes and stereoscopic vision (depth
Dangerous, belong in the wild; diseases disastrous; visually oriented
Activity patterns: nocturnal (active at night), diurnal (active during day), crespuscular
(active at dusk and dawn), cathemeral (active any time of day or night)
Diets: frugivore (fruit), folivore (leaves), insectivore (diet of insects), graminivore (diet of
small seeds and grasses), faunivore (invertebrates and vertebrates), gummivore (tree
exudates), graminivore (small seeds and grasses), seed predator/schelerocarpivory (hard
seeds), omnivore (varied diet)
Primate Taxonomy
Order -> suborder -> infraorder
Strepsirhine characteristics: dental tooth comb, moist rhinarium, unfused manibular and
frontal sympases, taetum hicidum, postorbital bar
oTwo superfamilies:
Lemuroidea: Madagascar and Comoro islands, Arboreal quadrupeds and
leapers, some partially terrestrial, many small-bodies species are nocturnal,
females dominance, varied diet
Lorisoidea: found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia,
Lorises and galagos, Arboreal quadrupeds, nocturnal, varied diet
Legend: lemurs sad about lorises taking their tail; contrasting cries/calls
Lemurs endemic to Madagascar
Haplorhine characteristics: dry nose, retinal forvea, postorbital closure, fused mandibular
and frontal symphases (cf Tarsiers)
oThree infraorders
Tarsiiformes: one genus (Tarshius), found in SE Asia, small body size,
relatively large eyes, with fused lower leg bones, entirely faunivorous
Platyrrhines: (Neotropical mokeys), medium size, central and south America,
cebidae, atelidae and callitrichidae, prehensile tail in few species, most
entirely arboreal (look like old tropical European colonists)
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