Characteristics of Primates

Characteristics of Primates - Characteristics of Primates...

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Characteristics of Primates 1. Arboreally adapted- secondarily terrestrial. 2. Diurnal in generation (some are nocturnal) 3. Generalized skeleton- allows for diversity in locomotion a. Clingers/leapers b. Quadrapeds (knuckle walkers) c. True brachiation d. Bipedal 4. Two sets of functional limbs. 5. Well-defined clavicle 6. Pentadactylism- 5 digits 7. 8. Opposable thumb 9. Vision over olfactory >> sense of smell 10. Reduction in the size of the snout 11. Nails instead of claws 12. Post-orbital bar- surrounds eye- circle of protective bone 13. Increases emphasis on social behavior 14. Greater intelligence 15. Long period of gestation for their size >> allows for greater development 16. Stereoscopic vision- 3-D vision; eyes to the front = binocular vision; overlapping vision fields permit transmission of visual stimuli from each eye to both hemispheres of brain. Primates - omnivores- will eat almost anything though some are specialized. Primatology - study of primates Look at: taxonomy, social behavior, capabilities – language, intelligence, evolution of primates.
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3 major grades of primates. Grade is level of expression of those characteristics that pale a group within the order Primate 1. Prosimians- lowest grade 2. 3. Ethology study - study animals in natural habitat J.R. Carpenter- 1930s, Panama- Howler Monkeys Jane Goodall- Chimps in Africa Dian Fossey- Mountain Gorillas in Africa. Killed Birute Galdikas- Orangutans in Borneo Tree Shrew - once thought to be a primate Tupiads: S.E. Asia, small, aggressive, long nose-snout, close to insectivores, nocturnal. 2 sub orders 1. Prosimii – 3 super-families. Most of them are solitary animals. a. Lemuroidea Only on the island of Madagascar. Isolation allowed for extensive radiation (adaptive radiation, spread in all directions) From size of mouse to over 4 feet tall Would have been different on mainland Some species nocturnal; some diurnal Tooth comb Aye-aye- long middle finger Continually growing incisors Color sightedness b. Lorisoidea
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All nocturnal- competition from higher primates Big eyes Slow lori, slender lori, potto, galago, bush baby Occupyine niches not occupied by other primates. c. Tarsioidea S.E. Asia All nocturnal Nearly extinct Widely distributed in prehistoric times Some dispute over whether this little guy is prosimian or actually closer the anthropoids. 2. Anthropoidea - 2 infraorders for suborder Anthropoidea a. Plyatyrrhina - shape of nostrils: wide- point toward sides.
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course ANTH 1001 taught by Professor Tague during the Spring '07 term at LSU.

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Characteristics of Primates - Characteristics of Primates...

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