This module will provide the fundamental theoretical and comparative perspective that lies at heart of biology, with a particular focus on the order Primates. Particular attention will be paid to the evolutionary history of the primates and comparative primate (skeletal) anatomy, both placed in an evolutionary ecological context (e.g. a consideration of dentition in relation to diet and feeding; post-cranial anatomy in relation to locomotion and phylogenetic trends). The module covers latest discoveries and developments in these areas, engaging students with primary literature. Extensive use of casts of primate skeletal material will provide hands-on 'experiential' learning. The module will provide a detailed treatment of natural and sexual selection as key components of evolutionary theory that shape the adaptations of organisms, and the way adaptations are used to make sense of the diversity of organisms with particular reference to the primates.
Total contact hours: 32
Private study hours: 118
Total study hours: 150
BSc Biological Anthropology
BSc Wildlife Conservation
Method of assessment
Practical Assessment, 50 minutes (50%)
Examination, 2 hours (50%).
Reassessment method: Like for Like
Fleagle, JG (2013). Primate adaptation and evolution, 3rd Edition. Academic Press.
Whitehead PF et al. (2004). A photographic atlas for physical anthropology. Morton.
Gebo DL (2014) Primate comparative anatomy. Johns Hopkins.
Campbell et al. (2010). Primate in Perspective, 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 demonstrate knowledge of the characteristic adaptations, together with the diversity and unifying themes in form and function, of species belonging to the order Primates
8.2 understand how evolutionary theory explains the diversity of animals and their adaptations with particular reference to the order Primates; understand evolution as both history and process.
8.3 critically evaluate the link between morphology and both phylogeny and ecology.
8.4 appreciate the value of a broad comparative approach in understanding diversities and commonalities between organisms and how this understanding in primates provides a foundation for studies of human evolution and adaptation.
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