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Primate Evolution

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Brock Conroy

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of Primate Evolution

Primate Evolution Characteristics of Primates 1. Manual Dexterity Opposable First Digit: Thumb or a Great Toe Used to grasp object in a powerful grip 2. Senses Primates rely more on vision and less on sense of smell Binocular Vision: Overlapping fields of vision as a result of... eyes located on the front of the face Most primates are Diurnal Active during the day --> most have color vision Primates that are Nocturnal: are active at night &... only see in black & white 3. Locomotion Flexible bodies -> limber shoulders and hips All primates except humans, walk on 4 limbs 4. Complex Brain & Behaviors Tend to have large brains in relation to body size Areas of brain devoted to memory and coordination 5. Reproductive Rate Primates have fewer offspring than other animals usually give birth to one offspring at a time newborns are dependent on their mothers for extended period of time Ex. Stock Animals, Domesticated Animals Ex. Bats, Owls Primate Groups Large, diverse group of >200 living species Strepsirrhines "Wet-Nosed" primates & considered the earliest most basic primates Characteristics of Strepsirrhines Lemurs: Vertical Leaper,
Long Bushy Tail for balance Aye-Ayes: Long 3rd Finger Lorises: Solitary, Lack Tails Galagos: Small & Fast Leaper, No Opposable Digit, Long Tail Haplorhines Include: Tarsiers, Monkeys, & Apes Tarsiers: Small, Nocturnal w/ Large Eyes Ability to rotate its head 180 degrees New World Monkeys Group of ~60 species of Arboreal Monkeys Most are distinguished by their Prehensile Tail Functions like a 5th Limb --> Grasp tree branches & Support its weight Ex. Marmosets, Tamarins, Squirrel Monkeys & Spider Monkeys Old World Monkeys ~80 species of Old World Monkeys Noses tend to be narrower & bodies larger than N.W.M. Ex. Macaques & Baboons None have Prehensile Tails, Some have NO tails Apes Only a handful of Ape species exist today Have larger brains in proportion to body size than monkeys Have longer arms than legs, barrel-shaped chests, NO tails, & flexible wrists Lesser Apes: Gibbons and Siamangs Great Apes: Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimps & Humans Gorillas are the largest of the primates Humans are classified in a subcategory called Hominins Human-like primates that appear to be more closely related... to present-day humans than to present-day chimpanzees Most primates are Arboreal: Tree Dwelling Primates that live on the ground are considered Terrestrial Primate Ancestors Genetic data suggests that the 1st primates lived ~85 mya However, earliest primate fossils don't appear until ~60 mya One of the earliest primate fossils was called Altiatlasius Displacement Many early strepsirrhines became extinct by late Eocene Might have been caused by change in climate Temperatures became cooler Hominoids all non-monkey anthropoids Human-Like primates Gibbons, Chimps, Gorillas & Humans Hominoid Characteristics Largest of ALL primates Largest brain size in relation to body size Broad pelvis, long fingers, NO tail & flexible arm/shoulder semi-upright or upright posture Teeth less specialized Proconsul existed 23-25 mya Hominins humans and ALL extinct relatives Hominin Characteristics Bigger, more complex brains Lived mainly in trees, some might have walked upright Face is thinner and flatter than other hominoids.. & smaller teeth HIGHER manual dexterity Bipedal: Walk upright on 2 legs Foramen Magnum is at base of skull Australopithecines Small in size, Apelike brains & jaws Teeth and Limb Joints were humanlike Taung baby Found in Africa in 1926 Lucy Found in Africa in 1974 One of most complete australopithecine fossils ever found Human Ancestry Genus Homo evolved from ancestor of australopithecines Characteristics Bigger Brains
Flatter Faces
Smaller Teeth
Lighter Skeletons Homo habilis "Handy Man" Lived in Africa b/w 2.4 & 1.4 mya Homo habilis characteristics Used Tools Brain was ~20% Larger than australopithecines Small & Long-Armed Homo ergaster Lived 1.8 - 1.2 mya Homo ergaster Characteristics Taller & Thinner
Shorter Arms
Rounded Skull
1st "Human Nose" 1st to Migrate & Hunter / Scavenger Homo erectus 1.8 mya & 400,000 ya possibly evolved from H. ergaster Homo erectus characteristics Larger & Bigger Brain than H. habilis More humanlike teeth Tall as Homo sapiens but had longer skull.. more prominent browridge, lower forehead... & thicker facial bones Homo neanderthalensis Neanderthals Evolved in Europe & Asia ~200,000 ya H. neanderthalensis Characteristics Shorter than "us" but more muscle mass Thick Skulls
Bony Browridges
Large Noses Used Fire
Hunted & Skinned food
Possible basic language Went extinct ~30,000 ya Modern Humans More slender than all other Homo species 1st appeared in Ethiopia ~195,000 ya Ability to use a range of resources & environments Out-of-Africa Hypothesis modern humans evolved only once in Africa -> migrated displacing other hominins Theory supported by Mitochondrial DNA Evidence Mitochondrial DNA is inherited from mother.. suggests that H. sapiens emerged... in Africa ~200,000 ya from "Mitochondrial Eve" migrated to Europe and Asia
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