Primate Studies 2. Taxonomy Development. There are approximately 190 sepcies of non-human primates. . prosimians. monkeys. apes. Primate Development and Taxonomy. Origins—where did primates come from?
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Origins—where did primates come from?
A proliferation of mammalian forms from the end of the Cretaceous period (ca. 65 Mya) opened new econiches
The major evolutionary trends that distinguish primates and their generalized mammalian form came as a result of adaptation to arboreal living.
Other placental mammals tended to adapt to grasslands, marine or other environments
Adaptive niche for primates was the trees
Provided many challenges and opportunities
Matt Cartmill criticized the arboreal hypothesis
Visual predation and the arboreal hypothesis are not mutually exclusive explanations
Prosimians emphasize olfactory and auditory cues in the pursuit of prey.
Robert Sussman proposed the Mixed Diet Hypothesis
Linnean taxonomic system
Highest level: order Primates
Next level down:
Prosimii (lemurs, lorises, and usually the tarsiers)
Anthropodiea (monkeys, apes and humans).
At successively lower levels (infraorder, superfamily, family, genus, and species), see chart
Tarsiers have both prosimian and anthropoid traits and are biochemically closer to anthropoids.
Hominoids have traditionally included four species in one family (the Pogidae-gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans), as separate from humans (Hominidae) but seem actually to have both Asian and African branches.
DNA studies have complicated it further, indicating the closeness of humans and chimpanzees, with gorillas further away. Some have even suggested that chimps be labelled Homo troglodytes.
The point is that the taxonomic system is in flux as new data are utilized. Most experts still use the traditional system.
Found only on the Island of Madagascar and adjacent island off east Africa, they are extremely diversified into a range of niches-22 surviving species
Size range from the mouse lemur with head and trunk length of only five inches to the indri a bit over two feet long.
Larger lemurs are diurnal and eat a variety of leaves, fruits, buds, bark and shoots; smaller are nocturnal and insectivorous
Considerable variation in behavior. Some are arboreal while others are terrestrial.
Socially several species live in groups of 10-20 animals. Some like the indri live in monogamous family units. Some nocturnal forms are solitary.
Similar in appearance to lemurs, but survived in continental areas of India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Five species, largely nocturnal. Galagos are included as well, with 6-9 additional species.
They are slow, cautious, quadrupedal climbers who can suspend themselves on hind limbs leaving hands for feeding.
Some are entirely insect eaters while others supplement the diet with leaves, fruits, and slugs. Food foraging is often solitary.
Three species restrcted to island areas in SE Asia. They live in a wide range of habitats.
They are nocturnal insectivores, and leap onto prey from branches and shrubs.
They form pair bonds, with the social unit being the mated pair and offspring.
Unlike loris and lemurs, they have no rhinarium and they have a eye sockets enclosed by bone t back and sides.
This is more like an anthropoid. Eyes are enormous, compared to the rest of the body.
They have taxonomically mixed traits.
The traits that distinguish anthropoids from prosimians include:
New World Monkey
Old World Monkey
Much more variety in morphology and behavior than New World monkeys
They have downward facing noses and are called catarrhine
Only one recognized family: CercopithecidaeTwo subfamilies: cercopithecines and colobines
Ischial callosities (gelada baboons)
Female hamadryasbaboon in estrus(note the sexual skin)
Apes and humans differ from monkeys in many ways including:
Our closest relatives
Why are they so different?
HAS=Human, PPA=Chimpanzee PPY=orangutan GGO=gorilla