psych paper - andrew gladue - defensive arm movements...

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Human and Primate Shared Behaviors Andrew Gladue Studies of Primates living today (especially those most closely related to humans: gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees) provide essential information on the adaptations and behavior patterns similar between Humans and Primates. Members of the order Primates are classified together on the basis of certain shared characteristics. These include a high degree of manual dexterity, keen eyesight, complexity of the brain, prolonged periods of maturation, sophisticated social learning, and a generalized skeleton that allows a great deal of versatility in movement. Even though humans have many unique abilities that differ, they are still a primate species. Their ability to perform physical tasks, ranging from grasping a doorknob to driving a car, depends on physical abilities that evolved in earlier primates. Insight into the origins of human social behavior, too, can be obtained from observations of nonhuman primates. Scientists have found that similar behaviors include aggressive facial gestures,
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Unformatted text preview: defensive arm movements, putting hand to mouth and other reaching and grasping movements -- all survival skills. Aggressive behavior is also typical of most primates, human and non-human. Gorillas, humans and chimpanzees will confront members of their own species regarding conflicts, sometimes to the point of killing. The need for social and physical contact is also characteristic of most primates. Present evidence suggests that our own ancestors are to be found among the African large-bodied hominoids, which were widespread between approximately 17 and 8 million years ago (National Geographic). Some of these ape-like primates lived in situations in which the right kind of selective pressure existed to transform them into primitive humans. We are finding that a number of behavioral traits that we used to think of as distinctively human are found to one degree or another among other primates....
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