Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Evolutionary Trends In Primates

Pedagogical list of tendencies in species observed across the entire range of the order Primates first organized by Le Gros Clark and Prue and John Napier. This list includes
(1) the retention of pentadactyly;
(2) the possession of nails on at least some digits;
(3) pre-hensile hands and feet;
(4) a tendency toward erect posture;
(5) the retention of clavicles;
(6) a generalized dentition;
(7) a generalized diet;
(8) a reduction of the snout and organs of olfaction;
(9) an increased emphasis on vision;
(10) expansion of the brain with increasing complexity;
(11) more efficient placentation and a slowed rate of development (neoteny);
(12) greater dependency on flexible, learned behaviors;
(13) a tendency for adult males to associate permanently with the troop.

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