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Flashcards in Primates Deck (13)
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1

Who are the primates?

• 350+ species
• 11 genera are extinct
• Origin approx 65mya

2

Diversity

- Body size
- Locomotion
- Feeding
- Reproduction

3

Grasping hands and feet

• Five digits on each hand and foot
• Flat nails and sensitive areas on the
ends of their digits
• The first digits are opposable

4

Types of Primate

Haplorhines :
- New World Monkeys
- Old World Monkeys
- Asian Apes
- African Apes
- Hominids
and
Strepsirrhines

5

Less reliance on smell, more on vision

binocular vision -> stereoscopic 3D
some of us have colour vision, why?
• Fruit vs sexual swellings

6

Encephalization quotient

Large brain relative to body size

7

Complex social organization

Living in permanent groups
– approx. 70% primate genera
– approx. 20% other mammals
1. single female and her offspring
2. one-male-several-female group
3. monogamous family group
4. multimale-multifemale group
5. polyandrous family group
6. fission-fusion society

8

Strepsirhini

• “wet-nosed”
• Characteristics
– Large eyes & ears
– Only primates to primarily rely on smell for hunting and social interaction
• Examples
– Lemurs
– Aye-ayes
– Lorises

9

Haplorhini

• “dry-nosed”
• Larger and more diverse category, broken up into 3 main groups
– Anthropoids
• catarrhines (Old World monkeys and apes)
• platyrrhines (New World monkeys)
– Tarsiers?
– (extinct) Omomyids

10

Primate life histories

• Long gestation periods
• Small lipers
• Large neonates
• Slow post-natal growth
• Late age at first reproduction
• Long lives as compared to other mammals of similar body weight.

11

Why slow life histories?

• Learning to acquire skills, knowledge
• Big brains and long lives- interconnected features of primates
• Brain expensive organ, slower physical growth as a trade-off

12

Why larger brains in primates?

• Social intelligence hypothesis-benefits of group living -> requires computational power
• Due to feeding niche, or fruit in scarce and patchy areas? Need memory and planning!
• Or methods for extracting foods? Nuts, digging, insects through tool use..

13

Theory of mind

The ability to atribute mental states (intentions, emotions) to others (e.g. what someone might be thinking about what you think).
• Essential to form strong, lasting social bonds
• In human children theory of mind (ToM) typically develops around age -3-5 years.
• Children with Down’s syndrome, but many with autism not seen ToM at this stage
• Disputed what species have exhibited