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Anthro 1026F/G Lecture Notes: Primate Behaviour, Primate Eras, Human Behaviour

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Department
Anthropology
Course
Anthropology 1026F/G
Professor
Alexis Dolphin
Semester
Winter

Description
January 31 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 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 4) Affiliative Behaviours: Physical contact meant to promote peace in social groups (build connection / calm down others … extra benefit = grooming gets bugs out) o Eg. 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! - More complex brain  more folds - Flatter face  forehead aligns with chin (when looking at profile) - Smaller teeth  all teeth are similar size, small canines - Parabolic palate - Bipedal Foramen magnum directly underneath skull (above spinal column) S-shaped curve in spine (distribute weight through center of body) Short, broad illia Knock-kneed  balance on one leg – weight = at centre of body Inflexible food Straight phalanges Long legs (30% of body) No opposable toe/grasping ability Pattern of Evolution: - Brain develops first (size = reaching completion at age 7 or 8) - Juvenile plateau - Reproductive development starts well after brain is complete - Hypothesis: Huge gab between reproductive development and brain development because humans need to learn a lot before they can rear offspring  need time to learn and understand social factors and manage re
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