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Lecture 6

ANP202 Lecture 6

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Michigan State University
ANP 201

Lecture 6: Living Non-Human Primates Big Questions 1. Why study primates? 2. What is a primate? 3. What are the kinds of primates? 1. Why study primates? *Primates are similar to humans physically and behaviorally due to a common ancestry *The study of primates helps us understand humans from an evolutionary perspective Primate Classification *Prosimians -Tree shrews -Lemurs -Lorises -Tarsiers *New World Monkeys -Cebids -Marmosets *Old World Monkeys -Baboons and Macaques -Colobuses and Langurs -Guenons and Mangabeys *Apes -Gibbons -Orangutans -Chimpanzees -Bonobos -Gorillas 2. What is a primate? *Primates are adapted to life in the trees (arboreal adaptation) *Primates eat a variety of foods (dietary plasticity) *Primates invest a lot in a few offspring (parental investment) Arboreal Adaptation *Primates have a versatile skeletal structure -Clavicle acts as a strut to keep upper limbs to sides of body -Flexible limb joints -e.g. ulna and radius rotate forearm -Vertical body plan *Retention of 5 digits *Phalanges allow hand and foot dexterity -Opposable thumb (or big toe) allows digit to touch other fingers *Prehensile hands and feet -Primates have a powerful precision grip *Primates have an enhanced sense of touch -Friction skin (dermal ridges) on the palms and soles -Nails instead of claws -The ends of fingers and toes are sensitive and allow for -excellent grips -maximum information from environment *Primates have a distinctive spinal column with give vertebral types (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, coccyx) *Primates have an enhanced sense of vision -Forward facing eyes with overlapping visual fields allow stereoscopy -Most primates see in color -Post orbital bar provide stability for the eye orbits *Reduced reliance on sense of smell -Smell is a secondary sense in most primates -Loss of rhinarium (wet nose), except in some prosimians -Changes in the brain *The evolutionary trends of primate brain: -size & complexity -occipital lobe (vision) -olfactory bulbs (smell) Dietary Plasticity *It is reflected in the primate dental morphology *Equipped with 4 functionally distinct tooth types -Incisors, canines, premolars, molars *Dental formula records number of teeth by tooth type in one jaw quadrant - OWMs & apes - NWMs *Primates have a generalized dental pattern (i.e. equipped with a variety of tooth types) *This allows processing of diverse food types (dietary plasticity) *This is in contrast to a specialized dental pattern that allows ingestion of a specialized food type (e.g. shark) *There are two types of molars based on numbers of cusps -Bilophodont (often in OWMs) -Y-5 molars (apes) *Some primates have diastema, honing complex, sectorial premolar *Enamel thickness also vary with dietary patterns -Hard foods (seeds,nuts)- thicker enamel Parental Investment *Female primates give birth to fewer offspring that other mammals *Investment in each offspring is high *Developmental period is longer, especially in apes -Development period is related to larger brain size in primates -Humans have the largest brain for body size 3. What are the kinds of primates? *Over 200 species with great physical and behavioral diversity -Mo
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