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515743.  Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:39 am Reply with quote

Looking at some information for Slow Loris I was also struck by the fact that, despite there being over 200 species of primates, plus many more sub species, it seems that Europe is the only continent with no indigenous primates other than Humans (I'm ignoring Antarctica).

Other large areas free from indigenous primates other than Humans are Australia and New Zealeand (parts of the continent of Australasia do), much of modern day USA and Canada, most of the Middle East (except a tiny area in the south west), modern day Russia (including all the Asian borders), most of the sub Saharan region, and the southern tip of South America.

515766.  Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:23 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
it seems that Europe is the only continent with no indigenous primates other than Humans

How long do primates have to be present in order to be considered indigenous? According to this article

itís possible that the original Gibraltar macaques were a remnant of populations that had spread throughout Southern Europe during the Pliocene, up to 5.5 million years ago.

which surely makes the Barbary macaque an indigenous European primate, no?

516029.  Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:45 pm Reply with quote

I thought humans originally evolved in what's now known as Africa, therefore aren't from Europe...?

516031.  Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:50 pm Reply with quote

Looking at some information for Slow Loris

Slow Loris on single carriageway roads can be a real pain when you're in a hurry. <coat>

516199.  Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:04 am Reply with quote

Posital already made that joke!

post 515486

516322.  Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:36 am Reply with quote

Looking at the article samivel linked to it seems that the DNA tests show that they come from Morroco and Algeria and this supports the claim that the Moors brought them over when they cnoquered Spain.

I think it's fair to show that humans are natural inhabitants of various continents because they travelled and settled through their own efforts.

Although modern man did come out of Africa, it's also fair to say that those that stayed in Africa and those that travelled to other continents continued to evolve in different environments, which is why we get distinctive racial characteristics (not least our skin pigments).

516344.  Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:58 am Reply with quote

we get distinctive racial characteristics (not least our skin pigments)

One example of this would be infection with Epstein Barr virus. I can remember some of this from Virology lectures arond 1983 so there may have been some changes since then.
In Caucasoid peoples EBV tends to show as Infectious mononucleosis (Mono or Glandular fever); in Negroid peoples a rather horrible looking cancer called Burkitts lymphoma; and in Mongoloid peoples a Nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Presumably these differences all occur due to genetic drifts occuring since the first humans moved out of Africa.

516401.  Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:45 am Reply with quote

but caucasians get burkitt's, too, so what causes it in them?



660852.  Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:55 pm Reply with quote

Considering primates evolved in tropical rain forests, its not very surprising that Europe (and many other places) lack primates after the shrinking of the tropical forests (Nina Jablonski 2003 writes a good short review).

The quite interesting things for me are the morphological and behavioural adaptations of the [ridiculously cute] primates... And seen as its a 'primate' forum, here are some of my favourite primate facts:

Ancestral new world monkeys are thought to have arrived in South America on vegetation rafts across the sea from Africa... which I did not believe it at first, but apparently that's the only feasible explanation.

Callitrichids are the only primates apart from humans where the mother may purposely neglect her own offspring.

Pottos smell like curry.

Chimpanzees "kiss" and make-up after fights.

Tarsier eyes are so big relative to their face that, in humans it would be like having two footballs for eyes! They're also the only primate surviving solely on insects.

Most monkeys don't have prehensile tails.. howlers, spider monkeys, murikis and wooly monkeys do, and capuchins have prehensile tails whilst juvenile.

661908.  Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:29 pm Reply with quote

40 million years ago when scientists believe the two branches of the monkey family divided the Atlantic Ocean was not as wide as it is today. Even so this "extreme rafting" does seem puzzling. How many animals would need to "raft" to support a viable population?

The New World Monkeys are one of a number of anomalies like the Falkland Islands Wolf (see separate entry).

Bonobos make love not war. If chimps highlight aggressive primate traits Bonobos are reputed to highlight a more sexual view of primate behaviour.

It was said to me by a keeper at Twycross Zoo that one could put a cardboard box into an enclosure and -

A Gorilla would examine it and carefully dismantle it.
A Chimpanzee would pick it up and tear it apart.
A Bonobo would try to make love to it!

Alfred E Neuman
661932.  Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:39 am Reply with quote

fairyteaparty wrote:
Tarsier eyes are so big relative to their face that, in humans it would be like having two footballs for eyes!

That can't be right.

The volume of a football is at least 6 litres*, and the best I could find for a human head is 4.9 litres, even if that's a small head and the average is much bigger, there is no way that two footballs are going to fit.

* actually 6.3 litres using the smallest of the sizes allowed.

661954.  Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:36 am Reply with quote

I think that's the point - to get the level of vision that a tarsier has, our eyes would need to be that big, regardless of the size of our heads.
That thing about the cardboard box came up in an earlie episode of QI...they also mentioned (Andy Hamilton said it, I think) what some of the species of ape would do with a camera - chimp would smash it, gorilla would take it apart, orangutan would take it apart then put it back together again.

Alfred E Neuman
661958.  Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:44 am Reply with quote

I suppose that's a possibility, although the post was about the size of the eyes in proportion to the size of the head, and made no mention of vision.

In any case, I don't think that the 'level of vision' has anything to do with the size of the eyes, otherwise we'd be able to see better than a hawk, which we can't.


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