Human Physiology : Humans And Primates Essays

1500 Words Mar 13th, 2015 null Page
Our physiology has been compared with those of modern day primates, due to our similar characteristics, which have all been linked to our ancestors. Hands of humans and primates are prehensile, “which means they can grasp objects and we share the ability to brachiate from “branch to branch contain a “reduced sense of smell,” and a “wide range of tooth types [suggesting] an adaptation to a generalist diet” (MacDonald, 2003, p. 325). All of characteristics suggest that our ancestors were arboreal, and we continue to show our ability to climb trees fairly well, however the main feature that has distinguished humans from modern primates has been our ability to walk on both legs, maintaining a sense of natural balance, of which primates lack. Ramapithecines had a center of gravity, which allowed them to walk on both legs, as we do now. “Of all the modern primates, humans are the only species that is truly bipedal” (MacDonald, 2003, p.330). Besides our physical forms, our ability to use and control fire has favored our human ancestors and modern human species for centuries, allowing us to maintain our nutrition and cultivation of crops. Throughout the Miocene, Glacial, and Interglacial periods, there has been a change in climate and a loss of vegetation. Due to cooler and drier climates beginning during the Late Miocene era, forests declined and more savannas sprouted. There has been a “linkage between global cooling and drying, increased climate variability, expansion of Africa…

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