The Evolution in Primate Locomotion and Body Configuration Essay

3023 Words Oct 3rd, 2012 13 Pages
The Evolution in Primate Locomotion and Body Configuration

Calista Lee
Anthropology 115

The Evolution of Primate Locomotion and Body Configuration
Primates first evolved from the trees of tropical forests, later to the ground. Through the times of promisians to human, many characteristics has been represented due to the adaptations to new environments and resulted in evolutionary changes. The Earth has encountered several geological and climatic changes over time. For the primates existed at that time had to adjust itself especially in body configurations and locomotion in order to better survive. It is important to be aware of this information since we are the part of occurring changes as well. Throughout the evolution owing to
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Most digits have nails but they have grooming claws on their second and third fingers. Their feet have particularly elongated tarsal bones (ankle region), which the name of the animal is derived from. They move up to vertical surfaces due to their hands that acts like suction cups and are padded. Except for the hands and tail, the body is covered with hair. They have a thin tail that is about 7.5 to 10 inches long and is mostly furless except there are small amount of hair at the end. They use their tails to balance themselves. Their fur is very soft and velvety and usually ocher or beige in color.

Figure II. Tarsier clinging vertically on the tree branch with its hands and feet.

They are vertical clingers and jumpers and they use this characteristic to surprise their prey. The hindlimbs are longer, usually as twice as much, and that enables them to leap well. They move from tree to tree by clinging vertically to a trunk or branch and then leaping to cling vertically to the next trunk or branch (Fleagle, 1999). They are known to able to jump up to seven feet. In order to leap effectively and easily, the lower leg bones are fused about halfway down their length, giving the leg more strength (“Tarsiers – Locomotion,” n.d.). They hop on their long legs when not moving from branch to branch.

Grade III – Monkeys The third grade of primates, monkeys, evolved about 35 million years ago

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