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5: Meet the Living Primates

  • Page ID
    66709

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    Stephanie Etting, Ph.D., Sacramento City College

    Learning Objectives

    • Learn how primates are different from other mammals.
    • Understand how studying non-human primates is important in anthropology.
    • Identify different types of traits that we use to evaluate primate taxa.
    • Describe the major primate taxa using their key characteristics.
    • Understand your place in nature by learning your taxonomic classification.

    One of the best parts of teaching anthropology for me is getting to spend time at zoos watching primates. What I also find interesting is watching people watch primates. I have very often heard a parent and child walk up to a chimpanzee enclosure and exclaim “Look at the monkeys!” The parent and child often don’t know that a chimpanzee is not a monkey, nor are they likely to know that chimpanzees share more than 98% of their DNA with us. What strikes me as significant is that, although most people do not know the difference between a monkey, an ape, and a lemur, they nonetheless recognize something in the animals as being similar to themselves. What people probably mean when they say “monkey” is actually “primate,” a term that refers to all organisms classified within the Order Primates and also the subject of this chapter. You may be wondering why a field dedicated to the study of humans would include the study of non-human animals. Because humans are primates, we share a wide range of behavioral and morphological traits with the other species who also fall into this group. In Chapter 2, you learned about the nature of Linnaean classification, the system we use for organizing life-forms. Here, we focus on the organization and diversity within the Order Primates. The term Order Primates dates back to 1758 when, in his tenth edition of SystemaNaturae, Carolus Linnaeus put humans, “simia” (monkeys and apes), “lemurs” (lemurs and colugos), and some bats into one of eight groups of mammals. Linnaeus was wrong in including colugos (now in Order Dermoptera) and bats (now in Order Chiroptera), but the grouping of humans with the then-known non-human primates was significant in that by doing so Linnaeus formally recognized the affinities between humans and these non-human taxa. In fact, acknowledgment of similarities between humans and non-humans dates back far earlier than Linnaeus (see the Special Topic box), yet it was only more recently that we attained the genetic data to back up our intuition.

    About the Author

    Stephanie Etting

    Sacramento City College

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    Stephanie Etting

    Dr. Stephanie Etting became hooked on biological anthropology as a freshman at UC Davis when she took the “Introduction to Biological Anthropology” course. She obtained her Ph.D. in anthropology in 2011 from UC Davis, where she studied anti-predator behavior toward snakes in rhesus macaques, squirrel monkeys, and black-and-white ruffed lemurs. While in graduate school, Dr. Etting discovered her love of teaching and, since finishing her dissertation, has taught at UC Berkeley; Sonoma State University; UC Davis; California State University, Sacramento; and Sacramento City College. In addition to her interests in primate behavior, Dr.

    For Further Exploration

    Animal Diversity Web: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Primates/specimens/ This website is hosted by the Zoology Department at the University of Michigan. It has photographs of skulls, teeth, hands, arms, and feet of many primate species.

    eSkeletons: http://www.eskeletons.org This website is hosted by the Department of Anthropology at University of Texas, Austin. It is an interactive website where you can compare specific bones from different species of primates.

    Fleagle, John G. 2013. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Third edition. San Diego: Academic Press.

    Fuentes, Agustín, and Kimberley J. Hockings. 2010. “The Ethnoprimatological Approach in Primatology.” American Journal of Primatology 72 (10): 841–847.

    Rowe, Noel. 1996. Pictorial Guide to the Living Primates. Charlestown, VA: Pogonias Press.

    Whitehead, Paul F., William K. Sacco, and Susan B. Hochgraf. 2005. A Photographic Atlas for Physical Anthropology. Englewood, CO: Morton Publishing.

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    Changizi, Mark A., Qiong Zhang, and Shinsuke Shimojo. 2006. “Bare Skin, Blood and the Evolution of Primate Colour Vision.” Biology Letters 2 (2): 217–221.

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    Pozzi, Luca, Jason A. Hodgson, Andrew S. Burrell, Kirstin N. Sterner, Ryan L. Raaum, and Todd R. Disotell. 2014. “Primate Phylogenetic Relationships and Divergence Dates Inferred From Complete Mitochondrial Genomes.” Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 75: 165–183.

    Regan, B. C., C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Viénot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon. 2001. “Fruits, Foliage and the Evolution of Primate Colour Vision.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 356 (1,407): 229–283.

    Remis, Melissa J. 1997. “Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) as Seasonal Frugivores: Use of Variable Resources.” American Journal of Primatology 43 (2): 87–109.

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    Silk, Joan B., Jacintha C. Beehner, Thore J. Bergman, Catherine Crockford, Anne L. Engh, Liza R. Moscovice, Roman M. Wittig, Robert M. Seyfarth, and Dorothy L. Cheney. 2009. “The Benefits of Social Capital: Close Social Bonds Among Female Baboons Enhance Offspring Survival.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 276 (1,670): 3,099–3,104.

    Utami, Sri Suci, Benoît Goossens, Michael W. Bruford, Jan R. de Ruiter, and Jan A. R. A. M. van Hooff. 2002. “Male Bimaturism and Reproductive Success in Sumatran Orang-utans.” Behavioral Ecology 13 (5): 643–652.

    Vasey, Natalie. 2006. “Impact of Seasonality and Reproduction on Social Structure, Ranging Patterns, and Fission–Fusion Social Organization in Red Ruffed Lemurs.” In Lemurs: Ecology and Adaptation, edited by Lisa Gould and Michelle L. Sauther, 275–304. Boston: Springer.

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    Acknowledgements

    The author would very much like to thank the editors for the opportunity to contribute to this textbook, along with two anonymous reviewers who provided useful feedback on earlier drafts of this chapter. She would also like to thank Karin Enstam Jaffe for her support and encouragement during the writing of this chapter. Most of all, the author would like to thank all of the Introduction to Biological Anthropology students that she has had over the years who have listened to her lecture endlessly on these animals that she finds so fascinating and who have helped her to hone her pedagogy in a field that she loves.

    Figure Attributions

    Figure 5.1 Post-orbital bar/Post-orbital closure a derivative work original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 License. [Includes Otolemur crassicaudatus (greater galago) by Animal Diversity Web, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0; Macaca fascicularis (long-tailed macaque) by Animal Diversity Web, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.]

    Figure 5.2 PrimateFeet by Richard Lydekker, original from The Royal Natural History 1:15 (1893), is in the public domain.

    Figure 5.3 Primate suite of traits table by Stephanie Etting original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.4 Ha,ha,ha …. (14986571843) by Rolf Dietrich Brecher from Germany is under a CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

    Figure 5.5 Four types of human teeth original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.6a Frugivore characteristics original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.6b Insectivore characteristics original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.6c Folivore characteristics original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.7 Vertical clinger and leaper locomotion original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.8 Terrestrial quadrupedal primate original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.9 Brachiator original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.10 Ateles-fusciceps 54724770b by LeaMaimone is under a CC BY 2.5 License.

    Figure 5.11: Primate taxonomy chart a derivative work original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License. [Includes Lemur catta Linnaeus, 1759 by Roberto Díaz Sibaja, CC BY 3.0; Lorisoidea original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Katie Nelson, CC BY-NC 4.0; Tarsiiformes original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Mary Nelson, CC BY-NC 4.0; Cebinae Bonaparte, 1831 by Sarah Werning, CC BY 3.0; Colobus guereza Ruppell, 1835 by Yan Wong from drawing in The Century Dictionary (1911) (flipped horizontally), designated to the public domain (CC0); Papio cynocephalus by Owen Jones, designated to the public domain (CC0); animals silhouette wolf elephant (2755766) by mohamed_hassan, Pixabay License.]

    Figure 5.12 Grades vs. clades comparison a derivative work original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License. [Includes Orangutan on a tree (Unsplash) by Dawn Armfield darmfield, public domain (CC0 1.0); Gorilla Profile (17997840570) by Charlie Marshall from Bristol UK, United Kingdom, modified (cropped), CC BY 2.0 License; Chimpanzee (14679767561) by Magnus Johansson, modified (cropped), CC BY-SA 2.0; Pointing finger (1922074) by truthseeker08, Pixabay License.]

    Figure 5.13 Lemur catta toilet claw by Alex Dunkel (Maky) is used under a CC BY 3.0 Licesnse.

    Figure 5.14 Extant Strepsirrhini a derivative work by Mark Dumont is under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License. [Includes Katta család by Veszprémi Állatkert, CC BY-SA 3.0; Aye-aye at night in the wild in Madagascar by Frank Vassen, CC BY 2.0; Diademed ready to push off by Michael Hogan, designated to the public domain (CC0); Juvenile Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur, Mantadia, Madagascar by Frank Vassen, CC BY 2.0; Microcebus murinus -Artis Zoo, Amsterdam, Netherlands-8a by Arjan Haverkamp, CC BY 2.0; Slow Loris by Jmiksanek, CC BY-SA 3.0; Slender Loris by Kalyan Varma (Kalyanvarma), CC BY-SA 4.0; Garnett’s Galago (Greater Bushbaby) by Mark Dumont, CC BY 2.0].

    Figure 5.15 Lemur catta toothcomb by Alex Dunkel (Maky) is used under a CC BY 3.0 licesnse.

    Figure 5.16 Geographic distribution of living strepsirrhines original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Elyssa Ebding at GeoPlace, California State University, Chico is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.17 Indri indri 0003 by Christophe Germain is used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.18 Nycticebus coucang 002 by David Haring / Duke Lemur Center is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.

    Figure 5.19 Strepsirrhines at a glance a derivative work original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 License. [Includes Ringtailed Lemurs in Berenty by David Dennis, CC BY-SA 2.0; Komba ušatá by Petr Hamerník, CC BY-SA 4.0.]

    Figure 5.20 Suborders at a glance a derivative work original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 License. [Includes Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur, Mantadia, Madagascar by Frank Vassen, CC BY 2.0; Crab eating macaque face by Bruce89, CC BY-SA 4.0.]

    Figure 5.21 Tarsier Sanctuary, Corella, Bohol (2052878890) by yeowatzup is used under a CC BY 2.0 License.

    Figure 5.22 Infraorder Tarsiiformes of Asia map original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Elyssa Ebding at GeoPlace, California State University, Chico is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.23 Tarsier skull by Andrew Bardwell from Cleveland, Ohio, USA is used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

    Figure 5.24 Tarsiers at a glance table original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.25 Infraorder Platyrrhini map original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Elyssa Ebding at GeoPlace, California State University, Chico is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.26 CARABLANCA – panoramio by Manuel Velazquez is used under a CC BY 3.0 License.

    Figure 5.27 Callitrichinae genus a derivative work by Miguelrangeljris is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License. [Includes Weißbüschelaffe_(Callithrix_jacchus) by Raymond, CC BY-SA 4.0; Leontopithecus chrysomelas (portrait) by Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0; Emperor_Tamarin_portrait_2_edit1 by Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA 4.0; Dværgsilkeabe_Callithrix_pygmaea by Malene Thyssen (User Malene), GNU Free Documentation License; Mico_argentatus_(portrait) by Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 4.0; Titi Monkey by Jeff Kubina.CC BY-SA 2.0]. ]

    Figure 5.28 Atelidae Family a derivative work by User:Miguelrangeljr is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License. [Includes Ateles marginatus (Sao Paulo zoo) by Miguelrangeljr, CC BY-SA 3.0; Alouatta caraya male by Miguelrangeljr, CC BY-SA 3.0; Brachyteles hypoxanthus2 by Paulo B. Chaves, CC BY 2.0; Lagothrix lagotricha (walking) by Hans Hillewaert, CC BY-SA 3.0.]

    Figure 5.29 Platyrrhini at a glance table original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.30 Wolf’s Guenon Picking Up Food (19095137693) by Eric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA, is used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

    Figure 5.31 Platyrrhini vs. Catarrhini dentition a derivative work original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 License. [Includes Cebus apella (brown capuchin) at Animal Diversity Web by Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0; Lophocebus albigena (gray-cheeked mangaby) at Animal Diversity Web by Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0; Symphalangus syndactylus (siamang) at Animal Diversity Web by Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.]

    Figure 5.32 Sulawesi trsr DSCN0572 v1 by T. R. Shankar Ramanis used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.

    Figure 5.33 Superfamily Cercopithecoidea map original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Elyssa Ebding at GeoPlace, California State University, Chico is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.34 Silverleaf Monkey (Kuala Lumpur) by Andrea Lai from Auckland, New Zealand is used under a CC BY 2.0 License.

    Figure 5.35 Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) male head by Charles J Sharp creator QS:P170,Q54800218 is used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.36 Bonnet macaque DSC 0893 by T. R. Shankar Raman is used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.37 Macaque India 4 by Thomas Schoch is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.

    Figure 5.38 Superfamily Hominoidea map original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Elyssa Ebding at GeoPlace, California State University, Chico is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.39: Quadrupedalism vs. Brachiation table original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.40 Catarrhini at a glance a derivative work original to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology by Stephanie Etting is under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License. [Includes Duskyleafmonkey1 by Robertpollai, CC BY 3.0 AT; Male Bornean Orangutan – Big Cheeks by Eric Kilby from Somerville, MA, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0.]

    Figure 5.41 Shout (373310729) by su neko is used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

    Figure 5.42a Orang Utan (Pongo pygmaeus) female with baby (8066259067) by Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE is used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence.

    Figure 5.42b Orangutan -Zoologischer Garten Berlin-8a by David Arvidsson is used under a CC BY 2.0 License.

    Figure 5.43a Enzo naomi echo by Zoostar is used under a CC BY 3.0 License.

    Figure 5.43b Male gorilla in SF zoo by Brocken Inaglory is used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 License.

    Figure 5.44 Bonobo male Jasongo 15yo Twycross 582a (2014 11 14 01 04 18 UTC) by William H. Calvin is used under a CC BY-SA 4.0 License.

    Figure 5.45 Chimpanzees in Uganda (5984913059) by USAID Africa Bureau uploaded by Elitre is in the public domain.


    This page titled 5: Meet the Living Primates is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Beth Shook, Katie Nelson, Kelsie Aguilera, & Lara Braff, Eds. (Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.