Living Primates Primate Skeleton Assignment Essay
Answer both essay questions below. Your essays should be based on 1) your own opinion/knowledge, and 2) the class textbook and other resources posted to Canvas. Be sure to cite the textbook or any other resources that you use. Please do not use Google or look for information from the internet to answer these questions.
You can submit your answers either in the text box or by uploading a Word or PDF document.
Question 1 (5 paragraph/600 word count minimum, 25 points)
You read in the news that a primate fossil skeleton has been discovered in South America. Scientists are excited because even though the skeleton is quite small (estimates are the primate would have weighed about 1 pound), the skeleton is complete and well-preserved. Write a five-paragraph essay that references this discovery and includes the following parts:
Paragraph 1: Describe the traits that you would expect scientists to look for to confirm that the skeleton belongs to a primate.
Paragraph 2: Describe the traits that you would expect scientists to examine to confirm that the skeleton belongs to a Haplorhine.
Paragraph 3: Describe how scientists would be able to evaluate if the skeleton belongs to a Platyrrhine or Catarrhine (that is, describe what scientists would look for to make this determination).
Paragraph 4: Describe how scientists could estimate the locomotor pattern, diet, and social structure of the primate from its skeletal features.
Paragraph 5: Based on the information you have about the discovery, what do you think would be the most likely locomotor pattern, diet, and social structure of this particular primate? Explain your answer.
Question 2 (4 paragraph/600 word count minimum, 25 points)
You are walking to the school cafeteria with a friend who asks you what you are learning in your anthropology class. You reply, “I learned we share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees and bonobos.” Your friend, who has never heard of bonobos and is surprised that you are learning about chimpanzees in an anthropology class, says “I thought we would share much less DNA. We don’t seem similar to chimps at all.”
Write a four-paragraph essay that includes the following parts:
Paragraph 1: Why do you think the field of anthropology, which is dedicated to the study of humans, includes the study of non-human primates? What important things can we learn about ourselves from studying non-human primates?
Paragraph 2: How would you make the case to your friend that humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos have more similarities than might meet the eye? Write one paragraph where you describe the morphological (physical) similarities between humans and chimpanzees/bonobos.
Paragraphs 3 and 4: Write one paragraph describing the behavioral similarities between humans and chimpanzees and another paragraph describing the behavioral similarities between humans and bonobos. Include specific examples from the “Ape Genius” video in your answer in addition to information from the textbook and web resources.