❖ Primatology: Why Study the Living Primates?
o 1950's = rise of field of primatology
■ Primatologist: a scientist working directly or indirectly with nonhuman primates in a variety of settings
o Goals of primatology:
■ Reconstruct early Hominin and human adaptations, behaviours by providing models and analogues
■ Comparison - to understand ourselves
❖ The "Trimates" or "Leakey'sAngels”
o Jane Goodall
o Dian Fossey
o Birute Galdikas
Are we looking Through a Window or in a Mirror?
❖ What we have been able to show?
o Primates are intelligent
■ Impressive skills re: tool use
■ Ability to manipulate symbols
• Ape-language experiments
■ Ability to reason analogically
■ Ability to learn and transmit knowledge across generations
■ Sense of self
• Ability to recognize oneself (the "mirror test”)
o Primates are social
■ Behave differently to differently dominant individuals
■ Recognize and respond to individual personalities
■ Recognize kin from non-kin
■ Ally with close kin first in conflicts
❖ What we also know...
o No significant relationship between environment and primate social organization
■ Dietary and behavioural plasticity
o Monogamous pairs
■ Rare in non-human primates
■ Where monogamous, lack of sexual dimorphism and sex roles undifferentiated
Primate Characteristics and Taxonomy
Primate Characteristics: LeGros Clark (1963)
❖ Suborder: Strepsirhines
o Lemurs, Lorises, and Galagos
o Old World tropics and subtropics
o Retain some primitive traits not seen in other primates
o Best living analogy to earliest fossil primates
o Characteristic traits:
■ Good sense of smell (olfaction)
■ Rhinarium - moist nose
■ Prehensile hands and feet with nails on most digits
■ Tooth comb
■ Stereoscopic vision with orbits enclosed by a postorbital bar
■ Dental formula: 2133/2133
❖ Suborder: Haplorhines
o "Higher primates”
o Tarsiers and Anthropoids (Monkeys, Apes, and Humans)
o Share many traits not seen in Strepsirhines
■ The tarsier is a problem here since it shares many traits with both Strepsirhines and Haplorhines
o Differences from Strepsirhines include:
1. Increase in body size
2. Larger brain in relation to body size
3. Reduced reliance on olfaction
4. Absence of the rhinarium
5. Greater degree of colour vision
6. More generalized dentition
❖ Platyrrhines - New World Primates
o Found in forested areas in southern Mexico and Central and South America
o Common traits:
■ Diurnal
■ Flat nosed/faced
■ Small bodied, some have prehensile tails
o Callitrichidae (callitrichids)
■ Marmosets, tamarins
■ Claws, not nails
■ Commonly birth twins
■ Considered to be monogamous
o Cebidae (cebids)
■ Squirrel monkeys (saimiri)
■ Spider monkeys (ateles)
■ Capuchins (Cebus)
■ Howler monkey (Aloutta)
❖ Catarrhines - Old World Primates
o Cata = downward, rhini = nose
o 5 families
1. Cercopithecidae (ex. baboons, mandrills)
2. Colobidae (colobus, langurs, proboscis)
3. Hylobatidae (gibbons)
4. Pongidae (orangutan, chimpanzee, gorilla)
5. Hominidae (homo sapiens sapiens)
❖ Family: Cercopithecidae
o Cheek pouches (store extra food)
o Ischial callosities (sitting pads)
o Wide distribution in Africa and Asia
o Broad adaptations to arboreal, forest floor, terrestrial, open-country environments
■ Most extensive adaptation (excepting Homo) to terrestrial environment
❖ Family: Colobidae
o Often referred to as "leaf-eating monkeys”
■ Bulk of food = leaves
■ Sacculated (chambered) stomachs (digest cellulose)
■ Africa and Asia
■ Arboreal and leapers
■ Often polygynous (single, male, multi-female)
❖ Family: Hylobatidae
o Often referred to as "lesser apes” because of smaller relative size
■ Occur in SE Asia
■ Extremely territorial
■ Excellent brachiators
■ Small, monogamous groups
❖ Superfamily: Hominoidea
o Apes and Humans
■ Apes and humans differ from the previously mentioned species by the following characteristics:
1. Larger body size
2. Two premolars (21 23/ 2123)
3. No tail
4. Short trunk
5. Arms that are longer than legs (not humans)
6. Shoulder modifications
7. More complex behaviour
8. More complex brain
9. More infant care
❖ Family: Pondigae ("Great Apes”)
o 4 genera
■ Orangutan (Pongo pygaeus)
• Borneo and Sumatra (fossils widely distributed throughout Asia)
■ Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla)
■ Common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)
■ Pygmy chimpanzee (bonobo) (Pan paniscus)
❖ Pongid's General Characteristics
o Have anatomy suited for brachiating, but all use variety of locomotion
o All pongids spend time traveling, feeding on the ground
o Orangutans tend to be solitary with overlapping male-female ranges
o Gorillas live in societies comprising one fully adult male and multi-females
o Chimps live in large, fluid social groups
❖ Family: Hominidae - Humans
o o o o Anatomically generalized
Habitual bipedal locomotion
Large brains, flat faces, small from (anterior) teeth
Sexual dimorphism not pronounced vs. pongids (male gorilla = 200kg)
Brief Highlights of Primate Evolution
❖ The Emergence of Primates
o Eocene (55-34 mya)
o First undisputed primates
o Found everywhere except Australia, Antarctica, and South America o Dapids
o Omomyoids

❖ Early High er Primates
o By late Eocene to Oligocene (34-23 mya)
■ Many higher primate species
■ Fayum Depression in Egypt
■ Change in world climate (cooler and dryer) saw many species go extinct
• Parapithecidae (ex. Apidium)
• Propliopithecidae (ex. Aegyptopithecus)
❖ Miocene Anthropoids
o Miocene (23-5 mya)
o Early Miocene “Proto-Apes”
■ Mostly in Africa
■ Best known genus is Proconsul (20-18 mya)
o Middle Miocene Hominoids include:
■ Kenyapithecus
■ Gigantopithecus
• Largest primate to have ever lived
• Thick tooth enamel
• Robus jaws, ate nuts and seeds
o Late Miocene Hominoids include:
■ Sivapithecus (12-8 mya)
• Primarily in Western and Southern Asia
• Thich enamel, ate seeds and nuts
• Once thought to be ancestral to orangutans
■ Dryopithecus (12-8 mya)
• Primarily in Europe
• Thick tooth enamel and lighter jaws
• Ancestor to apes and humans?
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