Primate Characteristics (Cont.)
Underlined and in red are a type of Genus
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Why did the characteristic features of primates evolve?
•Forward-facing eyes are an adaptation nocturnal visual predation.
Alternative hypothesis (arboreal): These characteristics are for tree adaptation
So who does have grasping hands and feet?
•Small arboreal (tree) mammals that inhabit a "fine branch niche" (hollds small things,
doesn’t dig nails into tree, grasps)
•Chropodomys: Asian Pencil-tailed Tree Mouse
•Pithecheir: Malay Monkey-Footed Tree Rat
•Cercartetus: Pygm Possum, Australia/New Guinea
•Most arboreal mammals with claws use their hands and feet in a fashion different from
•Visual Predation Hypothesis
o Matt Cartmill: says Last common ancestor of primates was small, arboreal,
nocturnal, a visual predator, and occupied a microhabitat characterized by small-
Prosimians (not so much used in textbook)
•Prosimians are a group of primates are ONLY found in the old world. (Subtropics of
Africa, Aisa, Madagascar, Philippines, Not in new world (north or south America)
•Taxonomy: Science of naming and classifying organisms
o Specific scheme of classification
o Started in earnest with Linnaeus (