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Primates - CS 143 Animal Cognition Lecture 1 THE PRIMATES...

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CS 143 * Animal Cognition Lecture 1: THE PRIMATES The Order of Primates - All Latin names italicized ; Genus name capitalized, species name not - Great variety of primates! Over 80 species, w/varied habitats, foods, body sizes, social systems, etc. - Cognition studied in < 10, so “ the primate mind” is a mis-representation - Key cognitive features that characterize most primates include… - Large Brains, Hand-Eye Coordination, Few Long-Dependent Young, Highly Social, Playful - Prosimians = Prosimii , The most primitive, least changed from original ancestral primates - Found mainly on Madagascar, also in Australasia & Africa; - Like ancestor, many are insectivores - Projecting snout, wet noses - depend more on smell than other NHPs - Multiple teats, though usually only 2 functional – shift to parental investment in few young - Powerful grasp but digits act in unison - Tethered lips , less facial expression than other NHPs - Smaller-brained than other primates, but still larger brained than “average” mammal - Some are social; Others relatively solitary, and most of those are nocturnal. - Anthropoids = Anthropoidea : “True Monkeys ”, 2 major divisions Nearly all highly social - New World Monkeys = Platyrrhines = Platyrrhini (“Round Nostrils”) - Mexico, Central & S. America; Variety of niches: Follivory, Frugivory, Insectivory, etc. - Hook grip , most less digit mobility than Old World, but better opposability than Prosiminans - All have tails, many have prehensile tails (a New World trait only!) - All diurnal (except Owl Monkey) - All arboreal (tree-dwelling) * We will be most interested in the Genus: Cebus = The Cebids = Capuchin Monkeys - Small animal, but largest relative brain size (per body weight) of any New World Monkey - Likes patchy, ripe fruit ; arguably places higher cognitive demands than all-leaf diet - Best NW dexterity ; Only NWM (probably) that regularly uses tools , Socially learned - Forms social coalitions (e.g. “Two-Headed” display) & other complex social relationships - Old World Monkeys & Apes , includes Humans = Catarrhini = Catarrhines (“Long Nostrils”) - Widely distributed (Asia, Africa, Humans everywhere) - All diurnal
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