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Lecture 4: Primate and Early Human Evolution

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Lecture 4 Primate and Early Human Evolution Lecture Goals General patterns of morphology and phylogenetics for fossil primatesWhat a hominin is in terms of taxonomy Morphological trends in hominin evolution Bipedalism Expansion in brain size Changes in dentalcranial features Earth Plate TectonicsTime Frame and Order Major Epochs during Tertiary PeriodPaleocene Primates Geography and climateVery different from present day conditionsHotter more humid Paleocene and Primatelike Mammals Plesidapiformes Body Size Tiny shrew sized to the size of a small dog Niche Likely solitary nocturnal quadrupeds well developed sense of smell Diet Insects and seeds Used to b eclassified as primates because of primate like teeth and limbs that are adapted for arboreal lifestyleRecent Plesiadapids NOT Primates No postorbital bar Claws instead of nails Eyes placed on side of head Enlarged incisors More Recent Plesiadapids and Few Others ARE Primates Eocene Geography and ClimateTwo Main Eocene Primate Families1 Adapidae Body size 100g to 600g Dirunal and nocturnal forms Minaly arboreal quadrupeds some may have been specialized leapers smaller adapids ate most fruit and insects larger forms are more fruit and leaves Led to lemurs
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