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Anthropology 1026F/G Lecture Notes - Foramen Magnum, Femur Neck, Prognathism


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 1026F/G
Professor
Alexis Dolphin

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January 31 st
Lecture: Anthropology
…continuing from last class
Behaviour: the response (action) of an individual, group or species to its environment
(stimuli)
- May or may not be deliberate
May be because it is beneficial over time so, do it again?
May be learned through culture therefore maintained (eg. chimps)
It is difficult to find combination of alleles that determine behaviour
(especially in humans)
Primate Behaviour:
Why?
- Hominin behaviour before culture
- Origins of culture
- Environmental factors that led to human existence
Baboons lived in African Savannah – idea (pre 70’s) that we evolved
in open African Savannah. NOW: believed we evolved in a semi-treed
area genetic link to chimpanzees – model for how our ancestors
behaved (eg. chimps used tools and we use tools)
Chimpanzees
Gorillas
*read about Great Apes in textbook
- “The Primate Continuum”:
Shared ancestry expressed to varying degrees
The Evolution of Behaviour:
- Some evolved through natural selection
Certain behaviours enhance ability to survive and reproduce in a given
environment
Eg. infanticide
These monkeys (males) kill infants that aren’t theirs
Once female is no longer nursing their infant, they come
back into reproductive cycle the male then can pass on
his genes to the new offspring with this female
Pass on behaviour through community: young males learn
behaviour – OR: is it hardwired in genetic make-up of
males debated
- Behaviour as a product of interactions between genetic and environmental facts –
can be together
- Does not mean that all behaviour is biologically-determined
Social Structure:
- Composition, size, and sex ratio of a group of animals
- Guides individual interactions and social relationships

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Primate Social Groups:
a) Single-Female and her offspring
Male = out and about until mating season
Orangutan
b) One-male-several-female group
Gorilla
c) Monogamous family group
Gibbons
d) Multiple-multifemale groups
Macques, baboons
e) Polyandrous family group
Tamarans
2 males in family group
f) Fission-fussion society
Chimpanzees
Males and females come and go through different social groups
Non-Human Primate Behaviour:
1) Dominance:
Dominance Hierarchies:
Not necessarily aggressiveness
Individuals ranked in relation to one another everyone knows
their own ranking in group – smooth operations (reduces stress and
violence)
Manages access to resources and mates
Ranks are learned
Sometimes primates try to move up in ranking (not often)
Rank is influenced by:
Sex sometimes female automatically has higher status
Age older = cared for and respected but when males reach a
certain age their status generally falls (lower ranking)
Amount of time in the group
Level of aggression win spot
Intelligence
Mother’s social position
2) Communication:
Scents
Facial expressions (eg. baboon blinking = back off)
Genital flashing
Displays (elaborate combinations of gestures)
Sound (eg. howler monkey)
3) Aggression:
Competition for resources (food/mate)
Most resolved before physical violence because violence doesn’t help
anyone in the group
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4) Affiliative Behaviours:
Physical contact meant to promote peace in social groups (build
connection / calm down others … extra benefit = grooming gets bugs out)
oEg. macques groom
Relationships are crucial and last a lifetime primates have friends with
primates that aren’t related to them biologically (they “hang out”)
5) Patterns of Reproduction:
Females receptive to males advances only when in estrus (eg. baboon
shows physical signs when they are ovulating most likely to get
pregnant at this time – males and females won’t try at any other times)
Variation in degree and length of pairings
Adult females always pregnant, lactating and/or caring for offspring
(differs from humans)
Parents of Infants:
- Mother-infant pair the basic social unit among primates
- BUT: sometimes fathers are involved, other times fathers are not involved at all
- Thus: variable parental care
- Monkeys and apes learn how to care for infants (learn through watching)
Cultural Behaviour:
- Culture as learned and shared behaviour
- Eg. “washing” food, termite fishing (with sticks), using tools (eg. leaf sponges –
squeeze water into mouth)
- Tools: Modify environmental resources for purpose
The Human Species:
Chimp vs Human
Chimp:
- small brain (385cc)
- less complex brain
- prognathic face (projecting snout area)
- larger teeth (especially canines)
- U-shaped palate (roof of mouth)
- Not bipedal
Foramen magnum = further back
Straighter psine
Longer illia – extends up back
Femur neck at 90 degrees
Flexible food
Torso = bulk length of body
No arch in foot
Opposable toe and grasping ability
Human:
- Large brain (1330cc) note that elephants have large brain, but humans have
large brain compared to the rest of their body size!
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