The Life of Primates

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-01-28
  • Publisher: Pearson
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The field of primatology has grown to become very complex and now incorporates information from molecular genetics, physiology, and brain studies. Many of the texts imparting this information are much too advanced for undergraduate students. Pia Nystrom & Pamela Ashmore present to you a comprehensive text written about nonhuman primates built from the ground up written for the undergraduate student. The Life of Primates, 1/ehelps students tackle the complex ideas and issues of primatology by first establishing the context and groundwork from which these studies were conducted.

Author Biography

Both Pia Nystrom & Pamela Ashmore are university teachers and researchers. They have known each other since graduate school and over the years have remained friends and colleagues. Both authors have worked with primates in both captive and field situations and have endeavored to bring their passion for this field of study to students of every age. They each have their own story about how and why they selected primatology as their chosen field of study. 

            Nystrom came to the field almost by chance, as she initially had her heart set on discovering the Miocene ape which was the progenitor to our own lineage. However, all those plans changed in 1984 when she was given the opportunity to visit the Awash National Park in Ethiopia, to participate in a long-term baboon research project directed by Jane Phillips-Conroy and Cliff Jolly. In her first encounter with a real, live baboon, one look into its eyes changed everything: those eyes reflected such curiosity and intelligence. It was those eyes that spurred Nystrom on to study primate social behavior and to develop an interest in primate cognitive ability.

            Early in life Ashmore journeyed to exotic places with anthropologists featured in the pages of National Geographic magazine. She was also an observer of virtually any form of animal life that she stumbled across in the woods of New England where she spent most of her childhood. To the chagrin of her parents many a creature came home for short visits so that she could observe them. As she was sitting in an undergraduate anthropology course taught by Michael Park, she realized that primatology was how she could, in fact, combine her interest in anthropology with her passion for animals.


Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction to the Nonhuman Primatesp. 1
How Much Like Us?p. 3
What Is a Primate?p. 4
The Extremities (Hands and Feet)p. 6
Locomotionp. 8
Sense Organsp. 9
Dentitionp. 11
Reproduction and Socializationp. 11
Behavior and Ecologyp. 12
What Is Primatology?p. 13
Why Study Primates?p. 17
Primates as Modelsp. 17
Where Does One Go To Study Nonhuman Primates?p. 19
Summaryp. 22
Key Wordsp. 23
Study Questionsp. 23
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 23
Primate Classificationp. 24
Classification Systemsp. 25
What Is a Species?p. 30
How New Species Appearp. 36
Naming a Speciesp. 37
Primate Taxonomyp. 39
Higher Taxonomic Unitsp. 39
The Two Primate Suborders: Strepsirhini and Haplorhinip. 42
The Strepsirhine Primatesp. 43
Superfamily: Lemuroideap. 43
Superfamily: Lorisoideap. 46
The Haplorhine Primatesp. 48
Three Haplorhine Infraordersp. 48
Summaryp. 61
Key Wordsp. 61
Study Questionsp. 62
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 62
Primate Biogeographyp. 63
Where Do Primates Live Today?p. 64
World Biomesp. 64
Rain Forestp. 67
Seasonal Forestp. 72
Woodland Forestp. 72
Savannap. 72
Semi-Desert Scrubp. 73
Temperate Woodland Forestp. 73
Distribution of Primatesp. 76
The Strepsirhinesp. 76
The Haplorhine Primates: The Tarsiersp. 77
The Catarrhine Monkeys, Cercopithecinaep. 77
The Catarrhine Monkeys, Colobinaep. 79
The Asian Apesp. 81
The African Apesp. 84
The Platyrrhine Monkeysp. 85
Biogeographical Patternsp. 88
Summaryp. 89
Key Wordsp. 89
Study Questionsp. 89
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 89
The Primate Bodyp. 90
The General Primate Body Planp. 91
Skeletonp. 94
Dentitionp. 96
Body Size and Energy Requirementsp. 101
Diet and Dietary Adaptationsp. 104
Nutritional Gain with Different Dietsp. 104
Locomotor Systemsp. 118
Sensory Systemsp. 113
The Brainp. 113
The Olfactory Systemp. 115
The Visual Systemp. 116
The Tactile Systemp. 120
The Auditory Systemp. 120
The Taste Systemp. 121
Reproductive Biologyp. 123
Growth and Developmentp. 126
Life Expectancyp. 127
Summaryp. 129
Key Wordsp. 130
Study Questionsp. 130
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 131
Primate Evolutionp. 132
What Is Evolution and How Does It Work?p. 133
How Do We Discern Ancestor-Descendant Relationships?p. 134
Evolutionary Models for Primate Evolutionp. 138
The Nature of the Primate Fossil Recordp. 139
How Do We Date a Fossil?p. 141
Earth Is Constantly Changingp. 144
Plate Tectonicsp. 144
Climatep. 145
How Life on Earth Has Evolvedp. 146
Fossil Primatesp. 149
The First Primates to Be Recognized: The Euprimatesp. 149
The First Haplorhinesp. 160
The Tarsier Lineagep. 166
The Platyrrhines: The First Monkeys of the Americasp. 168
The First Catarrhinesp. 175
The First True Apesp. 178
Basal Monkey Catarrhinesp. 184
Summaryp. 195
Key Wordsp. 196
Study Questionsp. 197
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 197
Primate Ecologyp. 198
How Primates Use their Environmentp. 199
Ecology Basicsp. 199
The Components of an Ecosystemp. 201
Factors that Limit Populationsp. 203
Species Interactions: Primates as Preyp. 204
Parasitic Predatorsp. 205
Primate-Plant Interactionsp. 207
Primates as Pollinatorsp. 207
Primates as Seed Dispersersp. 209
Primates as Prunersp. 212
Behavioral Ecology of Primatesp. 212
How to Study Behavioral Ecologyp. 213
How Food Is Distributed in the Various Biomesp. 213
How Primates Find Foodp. 218
Intergroup Competition and Competitive Exclusionp. 219
Polyspecific Associationsp. 221
Ranging Behaviorp. 222
Territorialityp. 224
Activity Cyclesp. 225
Active Timep. 226
How Do Primates Divide Up Their Day?p. 226
Seasonal Influences on Time Budgetsp. 227
Extreme Form of Energy Conservationp. 230
Summaryp. 231
Key Wordsp. 233
Study Questionsp. 233
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 233
Primate Social Organizationp. 234
Why Do Some Primates Live in Social Groups While Some Do Not?p. 235
Types of Social Groupingsp. 237
Solitary Foragersp. 238
One Male-One Female or Pair Groupp. 241
One Male-Multifemale Groupp. 246
Multimale-Multifemale Groupp. 250
Complex, Multileveled Groupp. 253
Why Do Animals Migrate?p. 253
Summaryp. 255
Key Wordsp. 256
Study Questionsp. 256
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 256
Primate Social Relationshipsp. 257
Primates as Social Organismsp. 258
Primate Relationshipsp. 259
The Adaptive Value of Social Behavior: Selfishness, Kin Selection, and Altruismp. 261
Types of Primate Social Relationshipsp. 262
Relationships Between Malesp. 265
Relationships Between Femalesp. 272
Relationships Between Males and Femalesp. 282
Relationships Between Adults and Youngp. 286
Summaryp. 294
Key Wordsp. 295
Study Questionsp. 295
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 295
Primate Communicationp. 296
What is Language?p. 297
Theories about the Origin of our Language Abilityp. 297
Origin of Language and Mirror Neuronsp. 299
Origin of Language and the FOX Gene Familyp. 299
How Different is Human Vocal Communication from that of Other Primates?p. 300
Ways to Communicatep. 301
Communication using Olfactionp. 302
Communication using Visionp. 305
Communication using Tactile Sensesp. 307
Communication using Vocalizationp. 308
Vocalization of Primates in their Natural Environmentsp. 311
What Do Primates Tell Each Other?p. 311
Talking with the Apes: Captive Studiesp. 314
Teaching Apes to Speak and Understand Our Speechp. 315
Teaching Apes Sign Languagep. 315
Teaching Apes Symbolsp. 316
What Does Our Language Have in Common with the Vocal Communications of Primates?p. 320
Language Perceptionp. 320
Semantic Abilityp. 320
Syntactical Abilityp. 321
How is Language and Vocal Communication Acquired?p. 322
Summaryp. 322
Key Wordsp. 324
Study Questionsp. 324
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 324
The Primate Brain and Complex Behaviorp. 325
What We can Learn by Studying the Brainp. 326
Why Study Nonhuman Primate Minds?p. 326
Do You Need a Big Brain to Perform Complex Behaviors?p. 328
Exploring Mental States in Primatesp. 329
Theory of Mindp. 330
Awarenessp. 331
Why Should Primates Need to Think? Exploring Mental States in Primatesp. 335
Social Manipulation and Deceptionp. 335
Cooperation and Planning-Hunting Primatesp. 336
Cooperation and Knowledge Transferp. 338
Primates Who Make and Use Toolsp. 341
What Does It Take to Use and Make a Tool?p. 343
How are Tool-using and Tool-making Skills Learned?p. 344
Can Primates Count and Do Arithmetic?p. 346
Summaryp. 349
Key Wordsp. 349
Study Questionsp. 350
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 350
Primate Conservationp. 351
What Is the Future for the Primate Order?p. 355
Shrinking Habitatsp. 356
What Is Bushmeat and How Does It Differ from Any Other Wild Game?p. 358
Epidemics and Transmissible Diseasesp. 361
The Primate Pet Tradep. 363
Canned and Trophy Huntingp. 367
Conservationp. 370
Conservation in the Wildp. 371
Conservation in Captivityp. 374
Primates in Medical Researchp. 379
Summaryp. 381
Key Wordsp. 382
Study Questionsp. 383
Suggested Readings and Related Web Sitesp. 383
Metric-Imperial Conversionsp. 385
Comparative Primate Skeletonsp. 387
Glossaryp. 389
Referencesp. 401
Creditsp. 443
Indexp. 445
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