Primate Biology
Printer-friendly versionPDF version

Origins and evolution of organisms up to mammalian stage: Introduction to origin of Life on Earth. Theories which postulate origin of life on earth and their criticism. Sources of study material (fossils, comparative anatomical and biochemical investigations and recently molecular biology and genetics). Gradual evolution from prokaryotes to Karyotes to multicellular organisms. Evolution of animal Kingdom from Diploblasts to triploblasts. Segmental pattern of muscle blocks as shared by insects and mammals. Origin of chordata from segmented coelomates. Appearance of pharyngeal arches to support the mouth. Origin of vertebrates from chordata. Evolution of amphibians from fish.  Development of muscular limbs, each with five digits. Emergence of reptiles, with changes adapting to free exploitation of dry places. Origin of birds from reptiles. Development of mammals with greatly expanded brain and specialized teeth. Evolution of Primates and Early man: General features of primates. Classification of primates. Characteristics of Australopithecines and early human species. Early Hominids. Differences between homo sapiens and apes. Fossil Evidence for evolution of Man: Evidence for emergence of modern man in Africa, East Africa and Kenya, Europe and Australia. Growth Studies and Anthropometry: Definition of growth and factors affecting it. Methods of assessment of growth. Developmental versus chronological age. Definition of anthropometry, metric and non-metric data. Techniques of measuring body lengths, breadths, weight, circumferences and subcutaneous fat. Importance of growth assessment and monitoring. Methods used in skeletal and dental age estimation. Growth curves and standards in specific populations. Asymmetry in body measurements, sexual dimorphism and ethnic characteristics.