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Unformatted text preview: Ch.6 An Overview of Primates Part I I. Introduction 1. ~190 species of primates 2. 4 kinds: prosimians, monkeys, apes, & humans 3. Primates are a type of mammal II. What characteristics do primates share with other mammals? Primates & other mammals have: 1. body hair 2. relatively long gestation period 3. live birth 4. heterodontism (different types of teeth) 5. endothermy- the ability to maintain a constant internal body temperature through physiological means. 6. increased brain size 7. considerable capacity for learning and behavioral flexibility III. Primate Evolutionary Trends 4 Categories of evolutionary trends: 1. limbs and locomotion 2. diet and teeth 3. the senses and the brain 4. maturation, learning, & behavior 1. Limbs and Locomotion (1) tendency for erect posture (2) flexible, generalized limb structure (3) hands & feet with a high degree of prehensibility (ability of grasp) 2. Diet and Teeth (1) lack of dietary specialization (2) a generalized dentition (teeth) 3. The Senses and the Brain (1) color vision (2) depth perception/stereoscopic vision & binocular vision Binocular vision: Vision characterized by overlapping visual fields provided by forward-facing eyes. Binocular vision is essential to depth perception (3) decreased reliance on olfaction (sense of smell) (4) expansion & increasing complexity of the brain 4. Maturation, Learning, & Behavior (1) more efficient fetal nourishment - longer gestation periods - reduced # of offspring - delayed maturation - extension of lifespan (2) greater reliance on flexible, learned behavior (3) tendency to live in social groups & permanent association of adult males with the group (4) tendency to diurnal(daytime) activity patterns IV. The Primate Arboreal(tree) Adaptation The single most important factor influencing the evolutionary divergence of the primates was the adaptation to arboreal living . Adaptive niche- is the entire way of life of an organism Arboreal hypothesis- primary evolutionary trends are explained by the adaptation to living in the trees. Led to omnivory. V. Primate Habitats Where do they live? Modern primates are found:- In tropical or semitropical areas of New & Old Worlds New World: Mexico, Central America, Parts of South America Old World: Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Japan Most primates are arboreal and live in forest or woodland habitats....
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2 taught by Professor Anthro2 during the Spring '08 term at Santa Monica.
- Spring '08