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Primate evolution - Assignment Example

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The changes surfaced during the evolution of Australopithecus and Homo erectus. The change marked a transition from locomotion by use of…
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Primate evolution
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Anatomical Features that Occurred During Primate Evolution Bipedal movement is an anatomical feature that came about as aresult of extensive skeletal changes in the body structure of early primates. The changes surfaced during the evolution of Australopithecus and Homo erectus. The change marked a transition from locomotion by use of four limbs to movement using the two hind limbs. The changes in the skeletal structure include alterations of the femur and the pelvic region for adequate support of the upper body weight. The big toe of the feet also becomes aligned with the other toes to enable the primates to move forward. The shortening of arms also occurs and its significance is to make running smooth because balance is maintained (Gebo and Severson 11).
Cranial development is a notable anatomical occurrence. The size and capacity of the brain vary across the various evolutionary groups. Primates developed a larger cranial capacity as compared to their immediate predecessors. For instance, Homo habilis had an approximate cranial capacity of 600 cubic centimeters while Homo erectus had a brain capacity that ranged between 800 and 1100 cubic centimeters. The increase in the brain capacity was a continuous process throughout the evolution stages.
The toes and fingers of the early primates were sensitive. The earliest forms had nails with a claw-like modification making hunting achievable. The nails also served as protective gear against external aggression. The forelimbs and the hind limbs had an opposable finger and an opposable toe respectively. The opposable finger makes it easy to grasp objects and food. Since some primates navigated trees, the opposable fingers and toes made the grasping of tree branches easy thus enabling movement along trees.
The early forms of man had an optically based anatomy characterized by forward facing eyes. Among human beings, the eyes face the sides of the skull. The forward facing eyes gave the primates a three-dimensional view of their environment. The vision is stereoscopic. Therefore, the primates had a larger field of vision overlapping before their eyes.
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Gebo, Daniel L, and Mat Severson. Primate Comparative Anatomy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. Print. Read More
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