Flashcards in Primates Deck (13)
Who are the primates?
• 350+ species
• 11 genera are extinct
• Origin approx 65mya
- Body size
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
Types of Primate
- New World Monkeys
- Old World Monkeys
- Asian Apes
- African Apes
Less reliance on smell, more on vision
binocular vision -> stereoscopic 3D
some of us have colour vision, why?
• Fruit vs sexual swellings
Large brain relative to body size
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
– Large eyes & ears
– Only primates to primarily rely on smell for hunting and social interaction
• Larger and more diverse category, broken up into 3 main groups
• catarrhines (Old World monkeys and apes)
• platyrrhines (New World monkeys)
– (extinct) Omomyids
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.
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
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..