Name Section ant 3514 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

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ANT 3514 – Introduction to Biological Anthropology

Primate Behavior and Comparative Anatomy

Lab 2, Week of 5/22/2006

Station 1: Identification

Using the skulls and pictures provided, circle which monkey is platyrrhine and which is catarrhine. Give at least one morphological (cranial or post-cranial) reason for each:

Platyrrhine primate: A B reason:___________________________
Catarrhine primate: A B reason:___________________________
Station 2: Locomotion

Name two skeletal characteristics unique to each of these modes of locomotion:


1._________________________ 2.____________________________

Arboreal Quadruped

1._________________________ 2.____________________________

Suspensory Brachiator

1._________________________ 2.____________________________

Station 3: Primate classification and character traits

Primates are classified in different ways. Complete the following tables illustrating some of the classifications and differentiating characteristics of each.




Dental specialization

Morphology of mandible

2-part mandible (unfused)

Single (fused) mandible

Eye placement

Eye socket morphology

Postorbital bar – eye surrounded by a complete bony ring (zygomatic bone + frontal bones)

Postorbital closure – eye lies within bony cup (postorbital bar + postorbital plate)


The Haplorhine primates can further be divided into these two infraorders:

Platyrrhine (New World monkeys)

Catarrhine (Old World monkeys, apes)


Dental Formula

# of premolars





Station 4: Primate Taxonomic Classification

Complete the following abbreviated taxonomy using your book and the website


Station 5: Social Strategies: Behavioral ‘Currencies’
A) Grooming: pretend you are an adult female monkey, why would you spend time grooming:
a) an infant ______________________________________________________
b) an adult male ____________________________________________________
c) another adult female _______________________________________________

B) Alloparenting: why might the following individuals partake in this energetically costly behavior?

a) an adult female ______________________________________________
b) an adult male ________________________________________________
c) a juvenile ___________________________________________________
Station 6: Group Living

A) Name 3 reasons why a primate would want to live in a group:




B) Name 5 types of social systems & identify a primate which exemplifies each:




Station 7: Dominance
A) How do dominance hierarchies reduce aggression?

B) Name 2 costs & benefits associated with being dominant:







Station 8: Infanticide
A) Why would a male primate commit infanticide?

B) Why would a female mate with a male after he killed her baby?


In your opinion, do you think chimps have culture? Why or why not? Provide supporting evidence for your argument from Article # 19.



  1. Handle the bones with extreme care and respect.

  2. Some of the following questions may require you to refer to your textbook or an osteological website.

Station 10: Skull

The skull (cranium and mandible) plays an important role in biological anthropology in terms of determining age, sex, ancestry, and understanding evolution history.

Name the bones/suture marked with dots. (No order required for the bones)

  1. ______________ suture

  2. ______________ bone 4. ______________bone

  3. ______________ bone 5. ______________bone

Station 11: Dentition

Teeth are one of the best preserved elements of skeletal remains. Their morphology is useful in constructing phylogenetic relationships among extinct and extant organisms.

Examine the dental casts provided and answer the following questions.

  1. What are the four tooth types of human?

2. What is the dental formula of human? The dental formula is determined by looking at each tooth type from the midline to the back and counting how many there are of each type (# Incisors : # Canines : # Premolars : # Molars)

Station 12: Pelvis

Human pelvis is composed of three bones: the os coxae (right and left), sacrum, and coccyx. The pelvis serves to protect and support abdominal organs, and anchor abdominal and leg muscles. It is an area that provides critical information on locomotion patterns and sex determination.

There are two human pelves (A and B) in this station. Refer to the comparative graphs provided here, answer the following questions.

  1. Which sex does pelvis A represent? Briefly state your reasons.

  1. Name the bone marked with blue dot.

Station 13: Thorax

The thorax, or chest, is a cage-like structure that serves to protect vital organs and assist breathing. Its shape and orientation are important traits in human evolution.

  1. What is the bone in the tray? ________

  2. Observe the articulated skeletons near this station, how many pairs of this bone are on a human skeleton? __________

  3. What does this bone attach to on the back of the body? _____________

Station 14: Upper limb

Observe the provided specimen and the articulated skeleton near this station when answering these questions.

  1. Which bone of the lower arm is on the same side as your pinkie? _____________

  2. Which bone of the lower arm is on the same side as your thumb? _____________

  3. What is the other bone that is a part of the elbow joint? ________________

Station 15: Lower limb

Lower limbs are directly associated with locomotion. The bones in this area are responsible of bearing and transporting body weight during locomotion.

Refer to the diagram provided and the articulated skeleton near this station and answer the following questions.

  1. What are the three bones that form the knee joint?

  1. Name the two landmarks marked with dots on the femur and os coxa.

Station 16: Spinal Column

What characteristic of the spinal column allows humans to maintain a vertical center of gravity when standing in an upright position?


Station 17: Dentition

  1. Which set of teeth is human and why?

  1. Write down the dental formula for each of the following sets of teeth:

  1. Answer the following question using the labeled sets of teeth.

Is “A” a NW monkey, OW monkey, ape or human? How do you know?

Does “B” have bilophodont or Y-5 cusp molars?

Which is a Strepsirhine? How do you know?

Station 18: Tail

In terms of a tail, what distinguishes hominoids from all other haplorhines?

Station 19: Dentition

A1) Describe the shape of the human dental arcade.

A2) Describe the shape of the ape dental arcade.

B1) What is the space between the incisors and canines called?

B2) What is the functional importance of this space?

Station 20: Lower Limb Morphology

A) What is the valgus angle?

B) Why is the valgus angle important for human bipedality?
Station 21: Divergent Hallux

A) Which foot (‘A’ and/or ‘B’) has a divergent hallux?

B) What is the ecological and locomotor importance of the divergent hallux?

Station 22: Foramen Magnum

A) Describe the position of the human and ape foramen magnum:


B) What is the functional importance of the difference in human and ape foramen magnum position, specifically in terms of locomotion?

Station 23: Crania

This station includes an ape skull, a human skull, a monkey skull, and a non-primate skull. Describe two differences between:

Ape and human

1._________________________ 2.____________________________

Monkey and ape

1._________________________ 2.____________________________

Monkey and non-primate

1._________________________ 2.____________________________

Station 24: Sexual Dimorphism

Sexual dimorphism is the difference in physical characteristics between males and females of the same species. Such physical differences between males and females are thought to have evolved through sexual selection and/or ecological selection.

A. Here is a skull of a male gorilla and a skull of a female gorilla. Identify one difference in their cranial structure and morphology: ______________________________________
B. Here is a skull of a male chimpanzee and a skull of a female chimpanzee. Identify one difference in their dental morphology:_________________________________________
STATION 25: Human vs. nonhuman

Refer to your book or the anatomical specimens in this classroom and answer the following questions.

  1. Which one belongs to a human in Tray A?

  1. Which one belongs to a human in Tray B?

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