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Chapter 6

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Chapter 6 Notes An Overview Of The Primates Primates:  230 species of non human primates (lemurs, lories, tarsiers, monkeys, apes) Primate Characteristics  Basic mammalian traits are body hair, long gestation period followed by live birth, mammalian gland, different types of teeth, the ability to maintain a constant internal body temperature through physiological means (endothermic), increased brain size, capacity for learning and behavioral flexibility  Primates have been quite generalized ; retained several ancestral mammalian traits Limb and Locomotion 1. A tendency toward an erect posture (especially in the upper body)  Sitting, leaping, standing, occasionally bipedal walking 2. Flexible, generalized limb structure allows most primates to practice various locomotor behavr  Rotation of the forearm lost in mammals such as horses, hip/shoulder anatomy 3. Prehensile hands (and sometimes feet)  Grasp and manipulate objects a. Retention of 5 digits on the hand and feet b. Opposable thumb and in most species a divergent and partially opposable big toe c. Nails instead of claws (ex. except new world monkey marmoset and tamarins) d. Tactie ads enriched with sensory nerve fibers at the ends of digits Diet and teeth 1. Lack of dietary specialization  Primates are omnivores 2. Generalized dentition  Specialized for different types of food Senses and the Brain  Primates active on the day rely more on vision and less on smell; reflected in evolutionary changes in the skill, eyes and brain 1. Color vision  Diurnal primates active in day nocturnal active during night don’t have this 2. Depth perception  Stereoscopic vision; seeing object in 3 dimension made possible through a. Eyes places toward the front of the face ( allows binocular vision) b. Visual info from each eye transmitted to visual centre in both hemispheres of the brain ( in primates 40 percent of fiber remain on the same side) c. Visual info organized into 3 dimensional images by specializes structures in the brain itself (visual info from both eyes and from overlapping visual fields) Decreased reliance on the sense of smell  Reduction of olfactory structures in the brain which results in decrease of the size of the snout related to increase dependence on vision  Baboon have large muzzles but not related to olfaction but to accommodate large teeth Expansion and increases complexity of the brain  General among placental mammals but especially true for primates  In primates this expansions is most evident in the visual and association areas of the neocortex: Maturation. Learning and behavior 1. Efficient means of fetal nourishment, longer periods of gestation, reduced numbers of offspring ( single births the norm), delayed maturation and extension of the entire life span 2. Greater dependence on flexible learned behaviors  Correlated with delayed maturation and longer period of infant/child dependency parental investment increase although fewer are born 3. Tendency to live in social groups and the permanent association for adult males with the group  Primates tend to associate with other individuals 4. The tendency toward diurnal activity pattern  Lorises, tarsiers, one monkey species and some lemurs are nocturnal; all the rest (the other monkeys, apes and humans) are diurnal Primate Adaptations  Environmental circumstance refers to several interrelated variables including climate, diet, habitat (woodland, grassland, forest etc.) Evolutionary Factors  Primates result of an adaption to arboreal , primates found there adaptive niche in the trees  Increased reliance on vision coupled with grasping hand and feet are also adaption to an arboreal lifestyle  Sussman (1991) basic primate traits developed along with another major evolutionary occurrence , appearance and diversification of flowering plants that began around 140 mya  Argued that vision predation isn’t common among primates forward facing eye, grasping hand and feet, omnivore and color vision may have arisen in response to demand for fine visual and tactile discrimination necessary for feeding. Geographical Distribution and Habitats  Non human primates are found in tropical or semitropical areas of the New and Old Worlds. (New world include Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. Old world Africa, India, Southeast Asia and Japan)  most nonhuman primates are arboreal and live in forest or woodland habitats  old world monkey baboon spend day on land and African apes( gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos) Diet and Teeth  omnivory lack of specialization in primates  primates have four kinds of teeth-> incisors and canines for biting/cutting ; premolars and molars for cheweing/grinding Dental formula:  Old World anthropoids ; (upper) (lower) total of 32 teeth  Placental mammal is  primates have fewer teeth than ancestral pattern general evolutionary trend toward fewer teeth  Human, apes, old world monkeys; new world monkey have one less premolar  Tooth shape and size directly related to diet  Carnivore premolar/molar high pointed cusp, herbivores have premolar with broad flat surfaces , most primates have premolar/molar low rounded cusps. Locomotion  Most are quadrupedal, most use more than one form on locomotion  Limbs of terrestrial quadruped are approx the same length, in arboreal forelimbs are shorter 1. Forms of locomotion a. Vertical clinging and leaping (Ex. lemeurs and tarsiers) support vertically by grasping tree, knees are tightliy flexed. b. Brachiation or arm swinging Is a suspensor form of locomotion body moves by being suspended by one arm (only small gibbons and siammangs on South East Asia)  New world monkeys spider monkey semibrachiators practice leaping and some arm swinging  Prehensile tail in New world monkey  Knuckle walking (gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees arms are so long compare to legs support weight of upper body on the back surfaces of their bent fingers Primate Classification  Established by Linnaeus , 230 species belong to mammalian  Primates includes all primates; suborder Strepsirhini (lemurs and lories) and Haplorhini ( tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans)  Based on physical similarities between species and lineage  Comparative genomics provides a more accurate picture of evolutionary and biological relationships between species  Chimpanzee genome completed in 2005  Wilman an
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