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Unit 2: PrimatesMyths about Primates- Not all primates are monkeys- Primates are not just primitive humans; they are social, intelligent, and some of their behaviors can be very complex- A lot of our stereotypes about primates are falseo Ex. Gorillas are not monsterso Ex. Chimpanzees are not cute cuddly petsPrimate Geographic Distribution- In their natural habitat, primates are generally found in warm, tropical, forested regions- Old World: Africa, Asia, South Pacific- New World: South America, southern part of North AmericaPrimate Studies- Descriptive: descriptive, people went out into the field and recorded what they saw- Observational: long term, studied for decadeso Jane Goodall Studied chimpanzees 1950s-1960s to present day Took 18 months to communicate with chimpanzees First to go out literally and camp out in the woods to study the chimpanzees Her work has spawned tons of research and researchers who follow hero Dian Fossey Studied gorillas Because of her we know that they are gentle and vegetarians She debunked many of the myths about gorillas She got heavily involved in the conservation effort - She ended up getting murdered by one of the locals- Theoretical: 1970s-1980so Two major perspectives Sociobiology: study of the relationship between genetics and behavior, emphasizes the role of genes- Ex. testosterone and aggression Behavioral ecology: study of the relationship between the environment and behavior, emphasizes the role of the environment- Ex. diet and social structure- Modern day studies of primates, research encompasses descriptive, observational, and theoretical partsPrimate Taxonomy- Taxonomy: the study that specializes in categorizing living beings or organisms- Proposed Changeso Suborders Change:  Old (traditional): Prosimii (lemurs, lorises, tarsiers)/Anthropoidea (monkeys, apes, humans) New (proposed): Strepsirrhini (lemurs, lorises)/Haplorrhini (tarsiers, monkeys, apes, humans)- This moves the Tarsiers from one group to another o They found that tarsiers had more in common with the anthropoids through molecular datao Reclassification of the Great Apes: Old(Traditional): Pongidae (great apes)/ Hominidae (humans) New(Proposed): All Hominidae; different subfamilies and tribes- The Hominids have them allo They are separated into orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees/humanso Then the chimpanzees and humans are separated  Orangutans are the most differentMovie Notes- The behavior that rocked the scientific world  Usage of tools by chimpanzees- Shocked the scientific community  chimpanzees hunt and eat meat- Tenderness between the mother and her infant- The father chimps don’t have anything to do with the infants that they produceo The females have the most interaction with the offspring- Monkeys, however, are monogamous species and the males do have interaction with the offspring- In general, though, most primates, the males do not have anything to do with the children- Some of the chimps ended up getting polio; because they are so close to us genetically, they can get our diseases and we can get theirsPrimate Characteristics Relative to Other Mammals- Limbs and Locomotiono Erect Posture: sitting upo Hands and Feet: Prehensile – the ability to grasp; humans and primates We have maintained opposable fingers and toes - Dogs and cats do not have these- Humans do not have an opposable big toe, butwe are the exception to this; primates do have it 5 digits on each hand and foot; not all mammals have this Instead of claws, primates have nails Primates have sensory nerves on our finger tips and toe tips in order to grip bettero Flexible limb structure Primates have many ways of moving around  Not limited to humans; primates have very flexible shoulders and hips Varieties of Primate Locomotion- Quadrupedalism (knucklewalking, slow climbing)o “moving on all four limbs”o Knucklewalking: instead of walking flat footed, they fold their fingers and walk on their knuckles on the forelimbs only; mainly in the Great Apeso Slow Climbing: all four limbs are being used while climbing o Intermembral Index: compares the lengths of the forelimbs to the hind limbs If a primate has an II greater than 1, that means the forelimbs are longer than the hindlimbs - More in the chimps and primates that live on the ground If a primate has an II less than 1, that means the forelimbs are shorter than the hindlimbs- Smaller body, more arboreal species (ex. Ring-tailed lemur) Humans are an exception to this, however the apes, monkeys, etc. have an II which is smaller than 1- Leaping/Jumpingo Primates can jump great distances; instead of using their arms to move through the trees, they jump from tree to tree- Brachiationo “arm swinging”o The body is fully supported by the upper limbso “Semibrachiation” Certain monkeys have prehensile tails - This can be used just like an extra limb for grasping- Bipedalismo “walking around on two limbs”o Humans are the only primates that are habitually bipedal; this is the only way we get aroundo Other primates can be bipedal but are not bipedal all the time- Senses and Braino Diurnal: referring to being active during the daytime; opposed to nocturnalo Nocturnal: active during the night timeo Most primates are diurnal, while some are nocturnalo Primates have an increased reliance on vision Have color vision Have depth perception This is exemplified in the placement of the eye orbits in the skull- Anterior placed eye orbitso Located in the front; gorilla versus cowo Primates have a decreased reliance on smell Reduced olfactors in the brain Exemplified by the size of the snouto Primates are encephalized Relative to the size of the body, primates have a larger braino Primates have a complex brain Have a much greater understanding of things, as opposed to a dog - Maturation, Learning, and Behavioro K-selected vs. R-selected K-selected - Species that has a smaller number of offspring- The parents invest a lot of time and energy into ensuring the survival of those offspring;- Typically have a longer pregnancy period- Typically have a longer life span- Typically are very immature- Primates and most mammals are K-selected R-Selected- Typically have many offspring at one time- The offspring are born able to care for themselves essentially, therefore, they require very little parental investment- They will have a shorter gestation and a

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LSU ANTH 1001 - Unit 2: Primates

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