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Primates. What Characteristics do Primates have over other animals and specifically, other mammals. Primates as Mammals. Intelligence Born Live Milk at birth Stage of Learning Skeletal System Teeth Way of Life Activity Level Specialized Vision. Primate Intelligence.

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What Characteristics do Primates have over other animals and specifically, other mammals

Primates as mammals

Primates as Mammals

  • Intelligence

  • Born Live

  • Milk at birth

  • Stage of Learning

  • Skeletal System

  • Teeth

  • Way of Life

  • Activity Level

  • Specialized Vision

Primate intelligence

Primate Intelligence

  • Brain size larger, specifically in cerebral hemisphere (areas supporting conscious thought)

  • Larger brains = variety of behaviours

  • Way of life over the years changed as a result of larger brain size (more capable brains)

  • Why the change in size?

  • Change from nocturnal to diurnal ?

  • Use of hands as tactile instruments?

Primates are born live

Primates are born Live

  • The way in which primates (and mammals) are born has an impact on survival

  • Protected in womb

  • Considerable growth in womb (quite advanced when born)

Primates receive milk at birth

Primates receive milk at birth

  • Mammals get their name from mammary glands

  • After birth, grow quickly

  • Learn many things that they will need for their survival as adults (like we do)

  • Primates in general (apes in particular) have long periods of infant/child dependency in which the young learn the ways of their social group

Primates are active

Primates are active

  • Very active in nature

  • Activity possible as their bodies are designed to move:

  • Body temperatures are regulated

  • Efficient respiratory system (nasal and mouth separate…this allows them to eat and breath)

  • A fancy diaphragm (drawing in and letting out breath)

  • 4- chambered heart (prevent mixing of oxygenated blood mixing with other)

Primates skeletal system

Primates Skeletal System

  • Features include (compared to reptiles):

  • Limbs are underneath rather than on side which allows for greater support, and more flexible movements

  • Bones have joints to permit growth in the young while providing strong , hard joint surfaces that allows for sustained activity

  • Mammals (us included) stop growing at adulthood, while reptiles continue to grow throughout life

Primate teeth

Primate teeth

  • Mammals have specialized teeth (contrary to reptiles)

  • Varied diet over generations

  • Uses:

  • Incisors: chisel (for scraping)

  • Canines: Defense, tearing and shredding food (some very large)

  • Pre-molars and molars: grinding

  • Evolutionary trend: reduction in number of teeth, and size

Primate way of life

Primate way of life

  • First mammals were nocturnal (active at night) (200 mya)

  • Earliest primates (65mya) lived at tree tops, also nocturnal

  • With loss of Dinosaurs and other large predators, as well as climate shifts and habitat change, mammals diversified their living environments

  • Most primates today are Diurnal (active during day)

  • Helped shape human behaviour

Specialized vision

Specialized Vision

  • The switch from Nocturnal to Diurnal helped (think of senses you would require for both)

  • Smell vs Sight : which one is stronger for humans (primates)?

  • Travel through trees demands judgments concerning depth, direction, distance, etc

  • Binocular: eyes sit next to eachotheront eh same plane so that their visual fields overlap

  • Stereoscopic: nerve connections that run from each eye to both sides of the brain confer complete depth perception

  • Sight in colour: When would colour be useful?

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