Nonhuman primates (NHP) are our closest living relatives, and no other group of mammals can remind us of ourselves the way nonhuman primates do. We will start this course by examining the phylogeny, geography, and general evolutionary history of primates. You will learn to recognize different clades of primates and the main traits that distinguish them. As we are getting familiar with the different primate clades, we will also built a more theoretical understanding of the ecology of primates. How are primates adapted to inhabit tropical forests? Which foods do they eat, and which adaptations help them obtain nutrients and avoid toxins? How do primates interact with other animals? The next part of the course will focus on selecting mates, “growing up,” and social aspects of group living. We will intersperse these themes and end the course with primate communication, cognition, and culture.
Instructor Griëtte van der Heide
See the University Catalog for specifics, recommendations, and prerequisites.