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Chapter 43: Section 4. PRIMATES. Include prosimians, apes, monkeys and human. Primate Characteristics. Generalist Teeth (herbivorous and omnivorous teeth). Large brain parts relative to size. Communication (broad range of expression and sounds). Acute Color Vision (binocular vision,

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Chapter 43: Section 4


  • Include prosimians, apes, monkeys and human

Primate characteristics
Primate Characteristics

Generalist Teeth

(herbivorous and omnivorous teeth)

Large brain parts relative to size


(broad range of expression

and sounds)

Acute Color Vision

(binocular vision,

depth perception)

Infant Care

(attention to young,

mammary glands)

Social Organization

(groups with complex

behaviors among


Characteristic skeletal structure

(sit upright, cling)

Manual Dexterity

(opposable thumbs,

Flattened nails for



  • Most primitive primates “pre-monkeys”

  • Nocturnal

  • Sensitive vision

  • Complex tactile hairs

  • Large, movable ears

  • Strong sense of smell

  • Developed hand control

  • Tropical woodlands

  • Most are endangered

Old World Monkeys: RED

New World Monkeys: Orange

Monkeys new world vs old world

Flat nosed

Nostrils far apart and open to the side

No cheek pouches

No buttock pads

Thumb lies in line with other digits

Small to medium sized

Down-facing nose

Nostrils close together and open downward

Prominent buttock pads that they sit on

Thumb is rotated and more opposable

Generally larger

MonkeysNew World vs Old World

Capuchin monkey
Capuchin Monkey

Primate Clip Folder

Colobus monkey
Colobus Monkey

  • Primate Video Clip

Great apes

  • Orangutans, Chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, bonobos and human

  • Family Hominidae

  • Face is almost naked

  • Round ears

  • No cheek pouches

  • Thumb is shorter than fingers

  • Wide range of vocalizations and facial expressions

  • *at DNA level, human is more related to chimp, than a chimp is related to a gorilla


  • Include: humans and extinct humanlike species

  • Bipedalism: ability to walk upright

  • Why?

  • Adaptations

    • Bowl-shaped human pelvis to support internal organs

    • Spine curves in an S shape-allows for upright posture

    • Toes are aligned with each other and shorter than apes

Ardipithecus ramidus ardi
Ardipithecus ramidus “Ardi”

  • Discovered in Ethiopia (1992-took 15 years to fully analyze and publish)

  • 125 pieces of the skeleton

  • 4.4 mya

  • Small-brained, 110-pound female

  • Oldest fossil skeleton of a human ancestor

  • Shows unexpected mix of advanced characteristics and of primitive traits

  • Feet, pelvis, leg and hands suggests she was a biped on the ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • Grasping big toe like apes

  • Upper pelvis positioned to walk on two legs

  • Lower pelvis built like an ape

  • Intermediate stage in our evolution that nobody knew about

  • Ardipithecus, then Australopithecus, than Homo

Australopithecus anamensis
Australopithecus anamensis ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • Found 1995, Mary Leakey

  • Kenya

  • Similar to Chimpanzee but bipedal

  • 4.2 mya

  • Oldest known member of genus

Australopithecus afarensis lucy
Australopithecus afarensis ground but a quadruped when moving in trees(Lucy)

  • 1974

  • Afar Valley of N. Ethiopia

  • 3.2 mya

Australopithecus africanus
Australopithecus africanus ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • Southern Africa

  • 2.3 - 3 mya

  • Taller/heavier than Lucy

  • Slightly larger brain capacity

Australopithecus robustus
Australopithecus robustus ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • Southern Africa

  • Large teeth and jaws

  • Different lineage than Lucy

Australopithecus boisei

  • Eastern Africa

  • Boney ridge on crest of head

  • Anchor large jaw muscles

  • 2 mya

Homo habilis
Homo habilis ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • “handy-man”

  • 1960s, East Africa

  • Stone tools

  • Body not much taller than Lucy

  • 4 ft tall

  • 2 mya

Homo erectus
Homo erectus ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • “upright human”

  • “Java man”

  • Thicker skull, larger brow ridges

  • Lower forehead

  • Large, protruding teeth

  • 5 ft tall

  • Crude tools and fire

  • Hunted and cooked

  • Lived in tribes of 20-50

Homo neaderthalensis
Homo neaderthalensis ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • Europe and Asia

  • 230,000 - 30,000 yrs ago

  • Heavy bones

  • Thick brows

  • Protruding jaws

  • Lived in caves

  • Stone scraper tools

  • Care for dead

  • Not sure what caused extinction

Homo sapiens
Homo sapiens ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • Appeared in Africa

  • 1st discovery in Cro-Magnon cave in France (Cro-Magnons)

  • Hunted

  • Complex patterns of social organization

  • Sophisticated language

  • tools

How did homo sapiens occupy the entire globe
How did ground but a quadruped when moving in treesHomo sapiens occupy the entire globe?

Dr spencer wells
Dr. Spencer Wells ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • Found genetic evidence, based on thousands of DNA samples taken across the world, that shows that all humans alive today have descended from a single man who lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago

  • Y-Adam

    “We are all Africans under our skin”

Y chromosome
Y Chromosome ground but a quadruped when moving in trees

  • Develop genetic markers

  • As inherited, they are passed down through generations, forming a complex story that can be traced backwards in time

  • Each son has inherited the marker

  • Find the point at which it first occurred…most recent common ancestor

Exodus began 60,000 - 50,000 years ago ground but a quadruped when moving in trees