You are on page 1of 4


Silk chapters 5-8, plus the additional readings associated with modules 6-7. Lecture 1: Why study primates? 1. Place the following species or groups on the appropriate branch of the phylogenetic diagram below: (1) chimpanzees, (2) bonobos, (3) humans, (4) gorillas, (5) orangutans, (6) gibbons, (7) old world monkeys, (8) new world monkeys, (9) prosimians. Where would you place the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans?

Recent (Time) Ancient

2. Make a table with the categories Prosimians, New World Monkeys, Old World Monkeys, and Apes. What general features distinguish the species in each category from those in other, closely related groups? 3. List ALL of the unique traits of primates described in class. Are any of these adaptations related to one another? 4. What is the arboreal hypothesis for early primate origins? How do living squirrels undermine this hypothesis? 5. Name all of the apes. How do they differ from other anthropoids? Where does each species live (what region of the world)? What is the mating system (e.g. multimale/multifemale, polygyny, solitary, monogamy) of each? Which ape is most closely related to humans, and how do we know?

Lecture 2: Primate diets 6. List three kinds of defense that plants employ against their predators. 7. Why do small-bodied primates require relatively high quality food? 8. How do folivorous and frugivorous primates differ in their specific feeding adaptations? 9. How do humans compare to other primates in the amount of time spent feeding? 10. What is the difference between a territory and a home range? How does the distribution of food affect whether primates are territorial? 11. What is the Jarman-Bell principle? How does it explain the evolution of grouping patterns in different species? Lecture 3: Primate sociality 12. In evolutionary terms, what are the primary costs and benefits of group living for primates? 13. What types of predators eat primates? 14. List three distinct ways in which group living decreases the risk of predation. 15. What is the difference between scramble and contest competition? Provide an example of each from primates. 16. Under what conditions might living in a group be beneficial, in terms of feeding competition? 17. In primate species, why does one sex usually disperse to another group? Which sex disperses in chimpanzees? Lecture 4: Mating strategies 18. What is Batemans principle? 19. What is sexual selection? How does inter-sexual selection differ from intrasexual selection? What general factors predict whether sexual selection will be stronger in males or in females?

20. Why are females generally considered to be the ecological sex and males the mate-getting sex? 21. How might sexual selection have favored infanticide as a mating tactic in male primates? How does langur infanticide differ from that of gorillas? 22. What features are associated with high levels of sperm competition in primates? What does the presence or absence of these features in humans suggest about the importance of sperm competition in human evolution? 23. What evidence suggests that sexual selection can account for sexual dimorphism in body size among primates? Lecture 5: The evolution of cooperation 24. Why is group selection generally considered to be a weak force in primate evolution? 25. What is inclusive fitness, and how does it explain apparent altruism? What do the letters B, C and r stand for in the formula Br > C (Hamiltons Rule)? How does Hamiltons Rule explain inclusive fitness behavior? 26. What is reciprocal altruism, and how does it explain apparent altruism? What cognitive abilities must an animal have in order to engage in reciprocal altruism? 27. What is mutualism, and how does it explain apparent altruism? Lecture 6: Intelligence 28. Which part of the brain shows relatively greater expansion in humans and other anthropoids? What is the apparent function of this brain region? 29. How do ecological explanations for the evolution of intelligence in primates differ from social explanations? What evidence can you give in support of or against each theory? 30. What is Machiavellian intelligence? Provide an example from non-human primates. 31. What is theory of mind? What evidence suggests that chimpanzees share aspects of this ability with humans? 32. Why is mirror self-recognition thought to be a prerequisite for theory of mind?

How can one detect whether a species has mirror self-recognition? 33. How do apes and humans compare on measures of social and spatial cognition? Does this suggest anything about the factors driving increased intelligence in humans? Films 34. Be prepared to answer questions about the films. Terms to Know: Arboreality dental comb color vision tapetum anthropoid folivore terrestriality prosimian siamang chimpanzee orangutan lemur callitrichidae colobinae loris New World monkey downward-pointing nostrils polyandry polygyny multimale-multifemale brachiation inter-sexual selection (female choice) intra-sexual selection (male-male competition) altruism reciprocal altruism coefficient of relatedness (r) Hamiltons rule fission-fusion home range Prehensile tail toilet, or grooming, claw nocturnal, diurnal binocular, stereoscopic vision nails, not claws frugivore arboreality gibbon olfaction bonobo gorilla sifaka cebidae cercopithecinae tarsier Old World monkey outward-pointing nostrils sexual dimorphism dental formula monogamy knuckle walking sexual selection Batemans principle inclusive fitness (kin selection) br>c mutualism incisor, canine, premolar, molar dispersal territory