Primates and Their Adaptation1

Primates and Their Adaptation1 - protective hides. However,...

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Primates and Their Adaptations Mammals developed from primitive mammal-like reptiles during the Triassic Period , some 200-245 million years ago. After the terminal Cretaceous extinction (65 million years ago) eliminated the dinosaurs, mammals as one of the surviving groups, underwent an adaptive radiation during the Tertiary Period. The major orders of mammals developed at this time, including the Primates to which humans belong. Other primates include the tarsiers, lemurs, gibbons, monkeys, and apes. Although we have significant differences from other primates, we share an evolutionary history that includes traits such as opposable thumbs, stereoscopic vision, larger brains, and nails replacing claws. Primates are relatively unspecialized mammals: they have no wings, still have all four limbs, cannot run very fast, have generally weak teeth, and lack armor or thick
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Unformatted text preview: protective hides. However, the combination of primate adaptations that include larger brains, tool use, social structure, stereoscopic color vision, highly developed forelimbs and hands, versatile teeth, and upright posture, place them among the most advanced mammals (at least as judged from an anthrocentric perspective!). Approximately 20 million years ago central and east Africa was densely forested. Climatic changes resulting from plate tectonic movements and episodes of global cooling about 15 million years ago caused a replacement of the forest by a drier-adapted savanna mixed with open areas of forest. During the course of hominid evolution, periodic climate changes would trigger bursts of evolution and/or extinction ....
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