Would humans be considered prosimians or anthropoids?

Would humans be considered prosimians or anthropoids?


Answer these questions before watching the video by using your text or searching online for answers.  Then use the link above to watch the film and answer the other questions.


1.   All animals in this episode of Life are from the Primate order.  This is the full classification of the Primate order.  List one major characteristic that helps define each level.



Kingdom:  Animalia


Phylum:  Chordata


Class:  Mammalia



2.   A cladogram for the major groups of primates is shown to the right.  The order is divided into two categories:  prosimians and anthropoids.


a.   Which group evolved earliest?





b.    Which group(s) evolved most recently?





c.   Would humans be considered prosimians or anthropoids?





d.     According to this cladogram, which group of primates is most closely related to humans?






Primates are divided into two groups:  Prosimians and Anthropoids.  This table summarizes the differences.


  Prosimians Anthropoids
Brain Size Smaller Larger
Nails vs. Claws Claws Nails
Vision Partial binocular vision (both eyes facing the same direction working together) Binocular and color vision
Body Size Smaller Larger
Habitats Tropical rainforests Tropical rainforests, grasslands, temperate forests, wetlands
Diurnality Either diurnal (daytime) or nocturnal (nighttime) Almost all diurnal
Olfaction Strong sense of smell Weaker sense of smell
Opposable Digits Some have opposable thumbs and big toes All have opposable thumbs; Most have opposable big toes



Answer these questions from the opening segment of the video.


3.   Describe what is unique about primates in regard to these characteristics:


a.   Hands –


b.   Eyes –


c.   Intelligence –


d.   Social Interactions –


e.   Memory –


Hamadryas  Baboons


4.   Are these baboons prosimians or anthropoids?




5.   Describe the social hierarchy of these baboons.




6.   What is the cause of the conflict between the two troops of baboons?





Japanese Macaque “Snow Monkeys”


7.   Are these macaques prosimians or anthropoids?




8.   These animals are the most northernly-living monkeys.  How are they built differently than other monkeys to survive the harsh winters of the Japanese Alps?




9.   Describe the social hierarchy of these macaques and how it relates to the hot springs.




Western Gorilla

Gorilla gorilla


10.                Are gorillas prosimians or anthropoids?




11.                Describe the social hierarchy of these gorillas.




12.                Would these gorillas be considered herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?




13.                How does the silverback male gorilla communicate his territory to other gorillas?




Spectral Tarsier

Tarsius tarsier


14.                Are tarsiers prosimians or anthropoids?




15.                Tarsiers are completely carnivorous.  What is their food source?




16.                The tarsiers have three sets of adaptations that enable them to be successful nocturnal hunters.  Describe the adaptations tarsiers have in each of these body parts:


a.   Eyeballs:



b.   Ears:



c.   Legs:



17.                How do the tarsiers communicate with each other?  What reasons do they have to communicate?




18.                The Lar Gibbons also communicate, but for a different reason.  Explain what.




Phayre’s Leaf Monkeys

Trachypithecus phayrei


19.                Are the leaf monkeys prosimians or anthropoids?




20.                Why are the baby leaf monkeys a bright orange color?




21.                Describe the social system of leaf monkeys, especially in relation to caring for babies.





Ring-Tailed lemur

Lemur catta


22.                Are the lemurs prosimians or anthropoids?




23.                Explain how male and female ring-tailed lemurs use scent markers as a means of communication.




24.                How do males compete for the opportunity to mate?



Pongo borneo


25.                Are the Orangutans prosimians or anthropoids?




26.                How long do Orangutans raise their young?  Is this unusual?




27.                What skills does the mother teach her child before it reaches adulthood?




Chacma baboons

Papio ursinus


28.                Are the baboons prosimians or anthropoids?




29.                Why is gathering food such a challenge for Chacma baboons?




30.                What unusual food source do the baboons eat, and where do they find it?




31.                What physical adaptations to the baboons have that allows them to eat mussels?




White-faced Capuchins

Cebus capucinus



32.                Are the capuchins prosimians or anthropoids?





33.                If capuchin monkeys are not strong enough to open clams, how do they eat them?





34.                What do brown-tufted capuchins do differently?  Explain why this is considered a more advanced skill.














Pan troglodytes


35.                Are the chimpanzees prosimians or anthropoids?





36.                Describe two examples of how the chimpanzees use tools.





37.                Describe the skill of nut-cracking.  Why is this considered a more advanced skill than the capuchins?





38.                What unusual social characteristics do chimpanzees exhibit?
























Primates are an order of mammals; one that the human species falls within.  The order is divided into different families based on characteristics such as presence of a prehensile tail, opposable thumb, whether they are ground-dwelling or tree-dwelling.



Order Marsupialia








“Short legs and tail”



Order Primates

“Opposable Thumbs”



Order Perissodactyla

“Odd-Toed Hooved”



Order Chiroptera

“Adapted for Flight”



Class Mammalia



Order Primates




“Prosimians of Madagascar”





“Big Eyes”



Old World Monkeys

“Non-Prehensile Tail”



New World Monkeys

“Prehensile Tail”





“Long Arms”




“Person of the Forest”




“The Largest Primates”



Chimpanzees and Bonobos “Closest to Humans”



















Order Eulipotyphla

“Insectivores with Snouts”




“Gnawing Hervivores”
































Tarsiers Old World Monkeys New World Monkeys Gibbons Orangutans Gorillas Chimpanzees Humans IUCN Red list Status
Hamadryas Baboon                    
Japanese Macaque                    
Western Gorilla                    
Spectral Tarsier                    
Lar Gibbon                    
Owl  Monkey                    
Ring-Tailed Lemur                    
Chacma Baboon                    
White-Faced Capuchin                    












Mark which category the primate is found and then look up their endangered status on the IUCN red list and provide details.

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