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79 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

arboreal adaptation

a suite of physical traits that enable an organism to live in trees.


refers to the lower molars, in catarrhines, that have two ridges.


organism that moves by arm-swinging.

canine-premolar honing complex

the dental form in which the upper canines are sharpened against the lower third premolars when the jaws are opened and closed.

dental formula

the numerical description of a species teeth, listing the number, in one quadrant of the jaws, of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.

derived characteristics

characteristics present in only one or a few species of a group.


a space between two teeth.

dietary plasticity

a diet's flexibility in adapting to a given environment.


refers to organisms that are active and awake during daylight ours.


tarsiers, ceboids, cercopithecoids, hominoids.


great apes, lesser apes, humans.


an enamel ridge connecting cusps on a tooth's surface.


refers to organisms that are awake and active during the night.

olfactory bullb

the portion of the anterior brain that detects odors.

opposable thumb

refers to primates 'thumb', in that it can touch each of the four fingertips, enabling a grasping ability.

parental investment

the time and energy parents expend for their offspring's benefit.


the evolutionary relationships of a group of organisms.

power grip

a fist-like grip in which the fingers and thumbs wrap around an object in opposite directions.


an organisms use of an anatomical feature in a way unrelated to the feature's original function.

precision grip

a precise grip in which the tips of the fingers and thumbs come together, enabling fine manipulation.

prehensile tail

a tail that acts as a kind of a hand support in trees, common in platyrrhines.

primitive characteristics

characteristics present in multiple species of a group.


the naked surface around the nostrils, typically wet in mammals.

sectorial premolar

lower third premolar has a single dominant cusp and a sharp cutting edge.


lemurs and lorises

tooth comb

anterior teeth (incisors and canines) that have been tilted forward, creating a scraper.


hominids pattern of lower molar cusps.

When did the split from orangutans occur?


When did the split from gorillas occur?


When did the split with chimps occur?


Features of primates

Big brains, hands, quadruped, no agriculture

Ecological niche

the role and position a species has in its environment - how it meets its needs for food and shelter, how it survives, and how it reproduces.


Lives in the trees


lives on the ground


active at dusk


active at any time of the day


eat fruits and flowers; high quality food resources; not available year round and are seasonal; primates will fallback to lower quality foods in-between seasons; energy maximizers; low cusps.


eat leaves, stems and bark; low quality food resources eaten in great amounts; energy minimizers (don't need to travel far); high cusps


high, sharp cusps, high quality food resource (small bodied).


prosimians have a tooth comb to scrape off tree gum to eat.


eats both animal based foods and plant based foods.

evolution and natural selection

the process by which different kinds of living organisms have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth

Clingers and Leapers

longer legs than arms


swinging through trees, arms longer than legs

terrestrial limb ratio


What do primates have in common?

Grasping hands and feet, nails instead of claws, enhanced vision, reduced olfaction.

What characteristics do primates hands have?

mobile joints, precise and powerful grip, opposable thumbs


4 handed

How is touch enhanced?

dermal ridges that allow us to feel texture, and nails for precision.

Enhanced vision is from....

forward-facing eyes that create stereoscopic vision, depth perception, color vision

facultative bipedalism

can walk on hind limbs but doesn't need to.

How do you write out a species name?

Genus species (underline separately)

Linnean taxonomy

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus Species


group consisting of all the great apes and their immediate ancestors.


within hominids, group of hominids more closely related to humans than to other great apes.


describing the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, an account of the relatedness of different groups of species.

List the family names from left to right on the tree.

Lemurs, Lorises, tarsiers, ceboids, cercopithecoids, hominoids.

Where are lemurs found?


Where are lorises found?

India, Sri lanka, south asia

What's a lorises?

arboreal, slow quadruped, nocturnal, varied diets (examples; slender loris and slow loris)

What's a tarsiers?

found in south east asia, arboreal, clinger and leaper, nocturnal, insectivorous.

What's a ceboid?

New world monkeys, found south and central america, varied diets and locomotions (examples, tamarins, capuchins)


Old world monkeys, found in africa, asia, and indonesia, varied diets and locomotions, complex social systems. (examples; macaques, baboons)


gorillas, gibbons (lesser apes), chimps, orangutans

Strepsirhines (families included)

Lemurs and lorises

Haplorhines (families included)

tarsiers, ceboids, cercopithecoids, hominoids

What do strepsirhines have that haplorhines don't?

lemurs and lorises have a rhinarium, longer snouts, and rely on olfaction more than vision.

Which families are included in prosimians?

Lemurs, lorises, tarsiers (post orbital bar)

which families are included in anthropoids?

ceboids, cercopithecoids, hominoids.

What separates prosimians from anthropoids?

prosimians are small-bodied with small relative brain sizes.

What were the split offs for hominoids and cercopithecoids and ceboids?

Hominoids and cercopithecoids had a common ancestor at about 25mya and seabirds split off at 35mya.

How are anthropoids split?

Platyrrhines and catrrhines

Summarize the characteristics of platyrrhines (new world monkeys)

found in central and south america, broad or flat nose, wide septum, dental formula of 2-1-3-2 or 2-1-3-3, prehensile tails.

Summarize the characteristics of catarrhines (old world monkeys)

found in africa and asia, hooked or flared nose, narrow septum, dental formula of 2-1-2-3, sexual dimorphism, bilophodont molars, large brains

What's different for apes from catarrhines?

y-5 molar pattern, no tails, huge brains.

saggital crest and nuchal crest

ridge of bone located on the top of the skull (mid-line). The terminal attachment for the temporalis muscle.

foramen magnum

the large opening for the passage of the spinal cord to the brain.


the area of soft tissue that separates the nostrils.

dermal ridges

enhance tactile sense, increases amount of friction; located on palms, fingers, and toes.