Free Anthropology Essay Sample
1) Outline and briefly describe the three mammal groups. Where do primates fit into this taxonomy?
The three major groups of mammal are placental mammal, marsupials, and monotreme. The placental mammals are advanced developed mammals whose young ones are born at a well developed stage compared to the other two groups of mammals. The unborn ones are feed through a placenta before being born, which is attached to the mother's uterus and is an embryonic organ. The second group of the mammals is marsupials. They are pouched mammals whose young ones are born immature, these babies attach themselves to mother's nipple. Many of the marsupials enclose their young ones in a pouch. The largest of the marsupials is the red kangaroo while the smallest is the Pilbara, who is small enough to fit into a person's hand.
The widely known marsupials are the kangaroo, koala, opossum, and Tasmanian devil. In North America, the only marsupial available is the Virginia opossum. The third group is monotremes, which they are considered the most primitive of mammals. The monotremes lay eggs; after the young ones are hatched, their mothers nourish them with milk. The name monotreme is derived from the one whole characteristic of these mammals. Monotremes have one opening, which serves as the reproductive tract, urinary tract, and anus. There are three species of the monotremes, two spiny echidna, or anteaters and the duck-billed platypus. Primates are the placental mammals.
2) What are the major primate characteristics? How are these features explained by the arboreal hypothesis? How does Cartmill's visual predation hypothesis explain these features?
Primates differ in sizes, range from tiny mouse to gorilla. They are clever, adapt very well to a different environment, and very lively. They are poor hunters, cannot fly, have poor hearing ability, and not fast runners. All except spider monkey have maintained ancient mammalian character of five fingers and toes. Arboreal hypothesis confirms why the primates cannot fly because they must adapt to life in trees then parachuting and develop feathers. It further confirms the adaptability traits. Cartmill's visual hypothesis explains that these features of having reduced claws, orbital convergence, and grasping feet and hands are associated to nocturnal.