ANT 100 October 11th 2012.docx

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22 Nov 2012
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ANT 100 October 11th 2012
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Lecture 4: Primate & Early Human Evolution
Lecture goals
- General patterns of morphology and phylogenetics for fossil primates
- What a hominin is in terms of taxonomy
- Morphological trends in hominin evolution:
- Bipedalism
- Expansion in brain size
- Changes in dental/cranial
Time frame and climate: On a continuous decrease in temperature from the Paleocene period .
Paleocene “Primates”
- Geography and climate
- Very different from present-day conditions
- Hotter, more humid
Paleocene and primate-like mammals: Plesiadapiformes
- Body size: tiny, shrew sized to size of small dog
- Niche: Likely solitary, nocturnal quadrupeds; well-developed sense of smell
- Diet: insects and seeds
- Used to be classified as primates because of primate-like teeth and limbs that are adapted for
arboreal lifestyle
Recent: Plesiadapids NOT primates
1) No postorbital bar,
2) 2) claws instead of nails,
3) Eyes placed on side of head, &
4) Enlarged incisors.
Two main Eocene Primate: Families
1) Adapidae
- Body size: 100g to 6900g
- Diurnal and nocturnal forms
- Mainly arboreal quadrupeds, some may have been specialized leapers
- Smaller adapids ate mostly fruit and insects, larger forms ate more fruit and leaves
- Led to lemurs??
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