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Primate Characteristics (Cont.).docx

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ANT 301
Chris Kirk

Primate Characteristics (Cont.) Underlined and in red are a type of Genus Wednesday, January 23, 2013 1:55 PM 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 (BOTTOM) 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 primates. •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- diameter supports. 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 (
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