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Biological Anthropology 1st Lecture

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University of Toronto St. George
Christopher Watts

19:13 October 14, 2010 Primate and Human Evolution 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 dentalcranial features Earth Plate Tectonics (know order) Pleistocene Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene 65.5 to 55.8 years ago (MYA millions of years ago) (KYA thousands od years) Paleocene Primates Geography and climate Very different from present day conditions (10 degress now, 3x hotter then) largely covered in forest, high water levels, humidity When we think the first primates showed up 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 the teeth and limbs that are adapted for arboreal lifestyle Phenetic based on looks Phylogenetic common decent patterns Why not primates No postorbital bar Claws instead of nails Eyes placed on side of head Enlarged incisors They are primates! Molecular clock: evolution per million years Eocene 56 million years ago until 33.9 Hottest, wettest, most humid time ever, in the beginning of this period Consistent pattern of decline in presipitation, avg. temp of 20 c Two Major Primate families Adapidae Body size: 100g to 6900g Diurnal and nocturnal forms
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