Chapter 6 review notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sheldon Ungar

ANTHROPOLOGY: CHAPTER 6 Introduction Primates  Lemurs, lorises, apes, humans  Many will go extinct in 50 years To understand any organism you must compare its anatomy and behaviour with that of other, closely related species Anthropoids: members of a suborder of primates  Lemurs progressed earlier and did not become anthropoids  The species that represent final evolutionary stages become extinct Primate Characteristics They share many characteristics with other mammals:  Body hair  Long gestation period followed by live birth,  Mammary glands  Different types of teeth  Ability to maintain a constant internal body  Temperature through physiological means (rendotherapy)  Increased brain size  Considerable capacity for learning behavioural flexibility Primates have remained generalized. They have received several ancestral mammalian traits that some other mammals have lost over time. Primates cannot be defined by one or even a few traits they share in common. They are not so specialized. These are a set of GENERAL tendencies that aren’t equally expressed in primates: 1. Limbs and locomotion a. They have a tendency to sit up straight (erect posture), leaping, standing 2. Flexible, generalized limb structure a. Allowing most primates to practice locomotive behaviour b. Primates have retained some bones (clavicle, collarbone) and certain abilities like the rotation of the forearm c. Various aspects of hip/shoulder anatomy, also primates have a wide range of LIMB movement 3. Prehensile hands/sometimes feet (capable of grasping) a. Skillful manipulation of objects while using their hands, feet, greasping and manipulating objects b. Sub characteristics of prehensile hands (retention of 5 digits on the hands/feet, an opposable thumb and divergent opposable big toe, nails instead of claws, tactile pads enriched with sensory nerve fibres) 4. Diet and teeth: Lack of dietary specialization a. They eat a wide assortment of food items: omnivorous b. Generalized dentition: a primate has teeth that aren’t specializing in processing in one type of food c. The senses and brain i. Primates rely on vision and less on smell. They use COLOR VISION (nocturnal primates do not). They also use DEPTH PERCEPTION (stereoscopic vision: ability to perceive objects in three dimensions or binocular vision) ii. Eyes placed toward the front of face iii. Visual info from each eye transmitted to visual centers in both brain hemispheres iv. Visual information organized in 3 dimensional images 5. Maturation, Learning, Behaviour a. They have a more efficient means of fetal nourishment, longer periods of gestation, reduced numbers of offspring, delayed maturation b. A greater dependence on flexible behaviour c. The tendency to live in social groups and the permanent association of adult males in the group d. The tendency toward DIURNAL activity Primates increasingly found food, toward omnivory. Primates have four kinds of teeth 1. INCISORS and CANINES: biting and cutting 2. PREMOLARS and MOLARS: for chewing and grinding PRIMATE ADAPTATIONS  Primates are arboreal  Primates found adaptive niche and their food in trees This dietary shift enhanced a general trend in omnivores  Increased reliance on vision, coupled with grasping hands/feet  Forward facing eyes (facilitating binocular vision)  Grasping hands/feet  Presence of nails  4 kinds of teeth: pattern: 32 teeth There is a lack of dietary specialization because of the size/shape of teeth Example: carnivores typically have pointed cusps (bumps on chewing surface of premolars and molars for tearing meat) Most primates have premolars/molars with low and rounded cusps can process most types of food. Basic primate traits developed when the appearance/diversification of flowering plants began Diurnal: active during day Nocturnal: active during night Stereoscopic Vision: condition where visual images are superimposed (depth perception) viewing the external environment in three dimensions: function of structures in the brain Binocular Vision: vision characterized by overlapping visual fields provided by forward facing eyes Hemispheres: two halves of the cerebrum that are connected by a dense mass of fibers Olfaction: Sense of smell Sensory modalities: different forms of sensation Human primates found in Mexico, Central America, parts of South America (Old World): primates found in Africa, India, Southeast Asia Primate Locomotion  Almost all primates are: quadrupedal  Most primates use more than one form of locomotion  Arboreal quadrupeds: forelimbs are shorter 1. Vertical clinging and leaping  Vertical clingers/leapers support themselves  Vertically by grasping to trees/ other large plants 2. Brachiation/Arm Swinging  Is a suspensory form of locomotion  Involves hanging from a branch and moving by alternately swinging from one arm to another “monkey bars”  Happens in a species with arms longer than legs, a short, stable lower back, long curved fingers, shortened thumbs  Some new world monkeys (spider monkeys) are semibrachiators (leaping/arm swinging)  Enhance arm swinging by using a prehensile tail All apes have arms longer legs, some primates (gorillas, bonobos, chimps) practice K
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