Primates, humans

There are many similarities between non human primates and humans. Every trait reflects an evolutionary decision at some point in history. The fact that were homeotherms allows us to maintain a central body heat and can pretty much adapt or live anywhere, where as  non homeotherms like snakes body will freeze up in environments that aren’t hot all the time. Primates such as monkeys have many similarities like our body, behavior  because of our similarities  we can really observe primates and understand how they use traits and gives us some insight on why we evolved the way we did and why we have the traits we do. For example like stated in the first video, most non human primates like monkeys/apes have prehensile digits (toes and fingers) just like we do. They use this specific trait to maneuver in trees, where as we use it to grab or hold things. We have it because our ancestors had it, which infers that our ancestors once depended on trees or lived in that environment. Another example is  stereoscopic vision which is something we still use and have today, that primates such as monkeys/apes use to see at night. Non of the information exactly surprised me about non human primates and our connection, but more so just made me want to look into outer things that we cold have alike that could of been a result of evolution. I believe we already have so much knowledge on and understanding on biology, behavior and culture by studying non- human primates, although theres always so much more to learn that could be beneficial to us and them.  Some things I would personally like to learn more about is the behavior aspect.

2 thoughts on “Primates, humans

  1. I have always been intrigued by the similarities between apes, chimpanzees and humans. Watching the video this week and reading the article / lectures I learned a lot more about the similar traits between humans and non-human primates. The biggest similarity I noticed was the emotions that non-human primates have. I never noticed the emotions a chimp could have, mostly because I have never thought too much into it but also because there is no way to communicate to tell exactly how the chimp is feeling. Watching the video though and seeing how the mother chimp acted when her child was taken, it was clear non human primates have emotions just like humans. I never thought about the similar body traits that we share though. I know that apes and monkeys have toes and fingers but I never took the time to notice that’s something we share. As you pointed out, monkeys and apes use their toes and fingers for different functions then us but it is still something we share.

  2. I agree that every trait between human and non-human primates can be explained though evolution. Our homoeothermic quality is an incredibly unique one that can only be explained through evolution, as it is a means to survival. Looking into non-human primates’ body and behaviors is a great insight into our common ancestral background. As you mentioned, one of these common traits are prehensile digits. Although similar in function, humans use these digits for grabbing things like food, while other primates use them for climbing through trees. This definitely implies that our ancestors lived in the trees. Your mentioning of stereoscopic vision is also very important. Our ability to see at night is a trait that is necessary for survival for both human and non-human primates. I was also not very surprised at the information supplied though this week’s lesson. It also sparked my interest in the countless other qualities that evolution played apart in. Behavior is definitely a broad topic that could reveal many unique traits shared by humans and apes. I find it intriguing that these primates hold so much mystery to humans yet have taught us so much about our past.

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