Study Guide for Exam Dr. Sullivan. Classification and Speciation

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Study Guide for Exam 2. Dr. Sullivan.

Classification and Speciation


  1. homologies

  2. analogies

  3. convergent (parallel) evolution

  4. primitive

  5. derived

What part does priority play in the naming and classification of newly discovered organisms?

What is:

  1. systematics?

  2. cladistics?

Contrast microevolution (alleles in populations) with macroevolution (speciation).

What is:

  • the biological species concept?

  • the ecological species concept?

  • the recognition species concept?

  • allopatric speciation?

  • parapatric speciation?

  • sympatric speciation?

Primate Characteristics and Adaptations

What are the traits that all primates share with other placental mammals:

1. Bigger brains and longer development

  • utero development

  • live birth (viviparous)

-> mammary glands (milk feeding)

2. Dentition: heterodont (general purpose) -> flexible diet

3. Endothermic: internal regulation of (a constant) body temperature -> habitat flexibility

Review primate adaptations and contrast mammalian features:

  1. generalized limb structure

  2. prehensile hands and feet

  3. generalized dentition

-> dental formulas NWM: OWM:

  1. large brain and specific sensory adaptations (vision vs smell)

  2. life history traits: long maturation (affecting learning and behavior)

  3. characteristic cranial anatomy (post-orbital bar and plate; petrosal bulla)

  4. generalized diet (but also dietary specializations in different species)

  5. unique forms of locomotion

Review the three main ideas about the arboreal adaptation in primates (adaptation to life in the trees):

  1. arboreal hypothesis

  2. visual predation hypothesis

  3. angiosperm hypothesis

Primate Taxonomy I

What is the impact of contemporary genetics on traditional primate classification?

Since the 1960s, a number of different biological insights have had an impact on species classification:

  • primates conventionally divided between Prosimii (lemurs lorises and tarsiers), and Anthropoidea (all monkeys and apes) [bottom of slide].

  • but tarsiers are biochemically more similar to Anthropoids [although highly derived forms].

This has lead to an alternative [replacement] classification system:

  • lemurs and lorises in their own suborder called Strepsirhini

  • tarsiers, monkeys and apes in a new suborder called Haplorhini

Tarsiers may represent an evolutionary bridge between the prosimians (Strepsirhine) and the monkeys (Haplorhine)

Review classification and geographic distribution of:

  1. prosimians (Stresirhine)

  2. the tarsier (Haplorhine)

  3. old world monkeys (Haplorhine)

  4. new world monkeys (Haplorhine)

What are platyrrhine ("flat nose") and catarrhine ("downward-facing nose")?
New World Monkey Taxa

One superfamily: Ceboidea

Four families:

[Family 1. Cebidae]

[Family 2. Pithecidae]

Family 3. Callitrichidae (e.g. marmosets and tamarins)

Family 4. Atelidae (e.g. squirrel, howler, spider monkeys)
Old World Monkey Taxa

One family: Cercopithecidae

Two subfamilies:

1. Cercopithecines (e.g. baboons, macaques, vervets)

2. Colobines (e.g. colobus, langurs)
Primate Taxonomy II: Hominoidea (apes and humans)

The apes are divided by geographical location:

  1. Asian apes (SE Asia):

Gibbons and Orangutan

  1. African apes:

Gorilla, Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes, Pan paniscus) H. Sapiens.
Review the differences between apes and monkeys (i.e. other Haplorhine).
Know some of the characteristics that are unique to each ape species e.g. Orangutan is a solitary forager (also reviewed in Lecture 15).
What are the differences between common chimps (Pan troglodytes) and bonobo chimps (Pan paniscus)?
Primate behavior I. Primate Ecology

Review primate ecology.

  1. Ecology: referring to the relationship between an organism and its environment.

  2. What are some habitat variables that affect primate behavior e.g. distribution of foods in a primates home range.

What is the difference between a field (free range) and a captive study?

What is a territory, home range, core area?
Review primate social systems:

  1. One male polygyny

  2. Multimale polygyny

-> fission-fusion polygyny

  1. Monogamy

  2. Polyandry

  3. Solitary

Know examples of primates that belong to different groups e.g. Solitary: Orangutan and some prosimians (Haplorhine)

Primate Behavior II. Social Behavior
Primate culture

Know some examples of nonhuman primate “culture”. e.g:

  1. potato washing

  2. termite “fishing”

  3. nut cracking

  4. cooperative (group) hunting

Who are Kanzi, Washoe, and Koko and what makes them special?:

  • the ability to engage in non-verbal symbolic communication

How is aggression an important dynamic in chimpanzee group culture?

Sexual Selection

What is the difference between sexual selection and natural selection?

  1. Inter-sexual selection (selection between sexes within a species e.g. peacock tail feathers)

  2. Intra-sexual selection (selection within one sex e.g. large canines and sexual dimorphism in males competing in a dominance hierarchy)

Altruism and Kin Selection

Natural selection does not predict altruistic (unselfish) behavior in animals e.g. food sharing.


  1. Kin Selection

  2. coefficient of relatedness

  3. inclusive fitness

Review non kin-based altruism (altruism between unrelated individuals)

Main conclusion about kin selection:

  • altruistic behaviors are not random [in regard to other group members] and usually favor kin.

  • when altruistic acts occur between non-kin, the benefits of the altruistic behavior will exceed the costs (b>c)

Reproductive strategies: male and female

In primates, the type and degree of parental investment is different for males and females

  1. female investment is limited by the resources in time and energy that a mother can invest in rearing her young.

  2. male reproductive potential/investment is limited by access to receptive females.

  3. male and female interests/strategies are often in conflict.

What are some examples of sex-differences in reproductive strategies in primates?

  1. male reproductive success is more variable than female reproductive success

  2. infanticide in langur monkeys, howler monkeys, baboons, chimps.

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