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Primate & Early human Evolution

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Christopher Watts

th Anthropology October 14 , 2010. Primate & Early human Evolution Major Epochs during Teritary Period: Paleocene Primates Very different from present-day conditions Hotter, more humid We think first primates show up Paleocene & Primate-like mammals: Plesiadapiformes Body size: tiny, shorew-sized to size of small dog Niche: likely solitary, nocturnal quadrupreds, 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. Claws instead of nails 3. Eyes placed on side of head 4. Enlarged incisors Eocene 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 fruits and leaves Led to lemurs? 2. Omomyidae Body size: 45g to 2500g Some nocturnal other diurnal Omomyid thought to been specialized leapers Teeth: adapted for eating insects and soft fruits, only few species were leaf-eaters Led to Tarsiers? Omomyid (Shoshonius) and What we think they looked like Warning: similarity in form does nOT always equate with close phylogenetic relationships
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