ANTHROP 2200 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Postorbital Bar, Adapidae, Paleocene

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Cuvier discovered adapis" which was a primate skull. Arboreal hypothesis: the proposition that primates" unique suite of traits is an adaptation to living in trees. They have grasping feet & hands, and front-facing eyes(stereoscopic vision) for enhanced depth perception. Early primates were moving from life on the ground to life in the trees. Visual predation hypothesis: the proposition that unique primate traits arose as adaptations to preying on insects and on small animals. Enhanced vision (color-vision + big eyes) and grasping hands are used. Problem: many primates eat non-moving foods like fruits. Angiosperm radiation hypothesis : the proposition that certain primate traits, such as visual acuity, occurred in response to the availability of fruit and flowers following the spread of angiosperms. Late mesozoic = massive diversification of angiosperms (flowering/fruiting plants). Grasping toes = can cling to branches while they pick and eat fruit. Plesiadapiforms: paleocene organisms that may have been the first primates, originating from an adaptive radiation of mammals.

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