ANTH 6140 Primate Behavior and Biology

This course will familiarize students with the Order Primates, with an emphasis on the "rules" of and constraints on nonhuman primate social structure, and the diversity and flexibility of primate social behavior. An introduction to the nonhuman primates will include physical characteristics, ecological influences and constraints on behavior, evolutionary history, taxonomy, and a consideration of the genetic basis for an evolutionary interpretation of behavior. A more detailed examination of different types of behavior (e.g., aggressive, status-related, developmental) and their function in primate social groups will be considered using evidence from both field and laboratory based studies. We will end with a review of the variability and flexibility of social structures, and a look to the future conservation of primate species.