A. Primate: group of mammals that include
lemurs, monkeys, apes, and humans
1. arboreal:
live in trees
2. flexible shoulder & hip joints
p. 430
3. Opposable thumbs
4. Vision
5. Brain volume
6. Arm movement
7. Flexible joints
8. Feet
B. Primate origin
1. Prosimianlike primates
a. small, present-day
b. lemurs, aye-ayes, tarsier
c. tropical forests
d. Purgatorius – earliest
primate fossil, resembling a
squirrel that lived 66 million
years ago
2. Humanlike primates
a. anthropoids
b. monkeys & hominoids
1) apes & humans
c. complex brains, larger,
different skeletal features,
more upright posture
d. New World monkeys
1) prehensile tail used as 5th limb
e. Old World monkeys
1) larger, no prehensile tail, live
on ground or trees
f. Hominoids: lack tails
1) apes: long, muscled
forelimbs for climbing, live in
social groups
2) humans: larger brain, walk
a) 37-40 millions years
II. Human Ancestry
A. 5-8 million years ago in Africa
1. Hominids / African apes
a. Few fossils; DNA evidence
b. bipedal
B. Scientists of interest
1. Raymond Dart
a. 1924 discovered a young
hominid – Australopithecus
meaning “southern ape of
b. 1-2 million years old
c. foramen magnum: opening
in the skull through which the
spinal cord passes as it leaves the brain
d. australopithecine: early
hominids that lived in Africa &
& humanlike characteristics
2. Donald Johanson
a. 1974 found oldest known &
complete australopithecine
1) “Lucy”
2) 3-5 million years ago (p. 440
C. Modern humans
1. 1964 Louis & Mary Leakey found
humanlike skull
a. classified in genus homo
b. Homo habilis
“handy man”
2. Homo erectus
“upright man”
a. larger brain &
a more humanlike face
3. archaic Homo sapiens
a. Neanderthals
1) 35,000 – 100,000
2) lived in caves, larger
brains, religious views,
spoken language
b. Cro-Magnons: possible
decendents of modern humans
1) 35,000- 40,000
Rd. p. 448 – The Land Bridge to the New World

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