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Anthropology Notes to Date

Anthropology Notes to Date

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Published by: Matthew Karl Spangenberg on Jun 30, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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We are monophyleticFirst primate ancestor about 65 million years agoOur closest living relatives
We start becoming human at about 1.8 mya Emergence of Homo Erectus
Closely related (great apes)Less closely related that have convergencesGeneral trendsWe can look at those less closely related such as baboons.TaxonomyKingdom -- AnimaliaPhylum -- Chordata/VertebrataClass -- MammaliaOrder -- PrimatesSuperfamily -- Homin
 Family-- Homin
 Genus -- HomoSpecies --
Homo sapiens
 Sub Species --
Homo sapiens sapiens
 Look at where things fall on theseOrigins of primates.We're all mammals-250 species of living primates(about 5000 total living and dead)All species share a common ancestorEarliest primates-65-70 mya-Nocturnal-Small-TerrestrialPrimates go up into the trees and become arboreal.Primate CharacteristicsPrimates evolved as tropical rainforest speciesArborealNocturnalEat Fruit, insectsMost animals defined on basis of one characteristicPrimates are generalizedPrimates are the one group you will have a problem saying definitePrimitive and derived traitsRetention of unspecialized postcranial skeletonFive digits & ClavicleIn terms of locomotion we're not specialized. Except us, we're obvious bipeds.Increased mobility of digitsThumb
Big toe (opposable)Prehensile hands. Can grab and grip, lots of wiggle room in our hands.The ability to wiggle your fingers is unusual in the animal kingdom.Comes from bigger brains.Gradation of digit mobility. Some are dexterous some are not.Difference across the order.Replacement of pointed claws with flattened nailsPrimate hands look like ours.Some primate species that have retained the claw. Very ancient trait for mammals.Particularly species that live up high in the canopy. So you can dig your claws into the barkto maintain stability. Some only have one claw for grooming.Reduction in sense of smellEnhanced VisionReduction of snoutCompared to any other mammal, snouts are more prominent.Monkeys and apes have smell like ours.Stereoscopic visionVision field is not tunnel vision.Spend a lot of time in trees and have to have balanceWe also have to navigate social situations.We look straight out.We can see all around us.Reduction in number of teethPrimitive molar cusp patternUnspecialized dietNo specialized teeth for gnawing or shearingThe molar explains that we can eat anything we can get our grabby hands on.Species that tend to eat more than other things.All primates eat fruitNo primate is an exclusive carnivore.Expansion of brainIncreasing complexityPrimates are smarter than other animals.Extended developmental periodsLonger lived than most animals.Pretty long gestation periodsLong juvenile and infancy.Not one thing that makes a primate a primate.Need to understand these relationships to find out what a primate is.Three very broad theories1.Arboreal TheoryG.Elliot Smith (1912)Arboreality led to specialized characteristicsStereoscopic visionLife in trees- grasping handsHearing is reduced, and smell.Catacal theory sometimes
2.Insect Predation TheoryMatt Cartmill (Duke U) 1972Manual dexterity evolved for life as an insect predator in trees.Many are insectivorous3.Angiosperm Co-evolutionary theoryBob Sussman (Wash U) 1990Angiosperms = fruiting treesEmerge 70-80myaSeed dispersalLack of competition for fruit at terminal branchesPrimates and bats.We're great for dispersing seeds.They're seasonal, and why we're not specialized.Have to remember where trees are during off seasons.About 70% of seed dispersal is due to primate and bad excrement.How do we organize the primates?2 suborders100 genera6 superfamilies -- oideaDo not think of human evolution as living primatesLemuroideaLorisoideaTarsoideaCeboideaCerpithecoideahominoidea
Look up simplified cladogram primates!!!
Order PrimatesSuborder Strepsirhini (Or Prosimii)Lemuroidea

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