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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Oct 13.docx

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Shawn Lehman

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Lecture 4 Primate and Early Human EvolutionLecture GoalsGeneral patterns of morphology and phylogenetics for fossil primatesWhat a hominin is in terms of taxonomyMorphological trends in hominin evolution o Bipedalism o Expansion in brain sie o Changes in dentalcranial featuresEarth Plate TectonicsContinents formed as earths crustal plates moved and collided togetherMassive change in size location of continentsClimate topography vegetation animal species distribution all affectedTime France and Climate See Fig56Different eras epochsMuch higher global average temperature then than now 12CPaleocene PrimatesGeography and climate o Hot no ice caps many of todays locations under the oceanPaleocenePrimatelike Mammals PlesiadapiformesBody size tiny shrewsized to size of small dogNiche Likely solitary nocturnal quadropeds welldeveloped sense of smellDiet insects and seeds o Use fossilized dental structures compare to similar modernday species can infer their dietUsed to be classified as primate because of primatelike teeth and limbs that are adapted for arboreal lifestyleRecent theory plesiadapids NOT primates o No port orbital bar o Claws instead of nails o Eyes placed on side of head primitive mammalian condition similar to what we see in ancient representations of mammals o Enlarged incisorsMORE recent theory plesiadapids and few others ARE primates o Share a sister taxon relationship with creatures we know as primates o Molecular origins before plesiadapids emergedabout 58 mya o First fossilized artifact found65 mya
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