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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 - Primate Origins and Evolution.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Shawn Lehman

Chapter 5Origins of Primates and their Evolution Goalsmorphological features of primate fossils over time how morphology determine primate diet and movement general morphological patterns and phylogenetics over time Keywords Inscisors canines molars enamel maxilla mandible cranial postcranial foramen magnum FM Arboreal Theory Primate dentition TermMaxilla Upper jaw Mandible Lower jaw Teeth are good representatives of primate diet as their hard structure results in long periods of fossil remainsPrimates all have Diphyodonty Two sets of teeth throughout primate developmentBaby teeth and Adult teeth Structure of human tooth Fig 51 in three partsCrown Neck and RootHeterodonty provides a dental formula that determines the type of primate teeth front to back which are incisors canines premolars molars Fig 52Dental formula 21232123 left half or right half of maxilla and mandible4 incisors 2 canines 4 premolars and 6 molarsPrimate Skeleton Fig 53 Fig 54 Cranial Bones of the head Post cranial bones below the headCranial is separated into frontal front bone temporal temple region bone parietal side bone occipital back and bottom boneForamen Magnum hole that passes spinal cord through the occipital region of the craniumDetermining morphology and behaviour of extinct primatesobserving dentition Comparative method between extant primate characteristics vs extinct primate characteristics ie sharp tooth provides crushing for hardshelled insectsif extinct primate fossil has similar teeth it must have had similar dietFrom comparative method we deduce a correlation between dental features to body size ie large molars imply large body size and dietThick enamel for species that diet on hard food and thin enamel for dieting on soft food Anterior dentition Frontal ie incisors and canine are wider for species that incorporate frontal teeth more frequentlyfrugivores frontal teeth bite into apple vs folivores frontal is defined for mastication chewing of foodDetermining morphology and behaviour of extinct primatesobserving cranial skeleton Cranial morphology correlates to muscle movement from chewingLarger muscles on skull and mandible for primates that chew harder material ie nuts fibrous plantsCranial eye orbitslarger for nocturnal primates smaller for diurnal primates Location of foramen magnum FM determines body posture and movement ie Quadrupedal primatesFM is located on the back of the cranium Bipedal primatesFM is located under cranium Arboreal Quadrupeds in flexed limb position thus elbows and knees post cranial must adapt
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