1 - Human Evolution Paleoanthropology = The study of human...

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Human Evolution Paleoanthropology = The study of human origins and evolution. Primates have been present for 65 million years (end of Mesozoic era) and are defined by characteristics shaped by natural selection for living in trees. Later, this selection pressure will change. A diagram of probable primate evolution. Fig. 27.2 - Limber shoulder joints which make it possible to brachiate. Movie of brachiation! - Dexterous hands for hanging on branches and manipulating food. - Sensitive fingers with nails, not claws. - Opposable thumb and 4 fingers. - Eyes are close together on the front of the face, giving overlapping fields of vision for enhanced depth perception ( binocular vision ). Fig 34.40 - Excellent eye-hand coordination. - Parental care with usually single births and long nurturing of offspring. - Poor sense of smell Prosimians Fig 27.1 (non-anthropoid primates) For images of lemurs, lorises, etc. Tree shrews, the first to diverge from the primitive primate lineage Lemurs ( image ) and lorises – before monkeys Tarsiers Most nocturnal The anthropoids include all other primates. - Fossils of monkey-like primates indicate anthropoids were established in Africa and Asia by 45 million years ago (S. Amer. and Africa were separated) - Primates became diurnal about 36 million years ago –active during the day - Refinement of opposable thumb - The New World monkeys , ( images ) some with prehensile tails ( Fig 27.3 ) spider monkeys, capuchins, and squirrel monkeys are all arboreal – inhabit trees nostrils open to the side a few have lost opposable thumb
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This note was uploaded on 03/21/2008 for the course BIO 301M taught by Professor Jasper during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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1 - Human Evolution Paleoanthropology = The study of human...

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