Course Description

UPDATED 1/7/2022 - THIS CLASS IS CANCELLED.: We are all curious about our primate ancestors and relatives. This in-person lecture and discussion course provides answers to questions about how primates evolved and why many species differ in size, diet, and behavior. The fossil record contains direct evidence of this history, which we will examine through the use of cast materials and a potential field trip to the Duke Lemur Center Division of Fossil Primates. We will study living primates in order to interpret what fossils tell us about how ancient species lived and interacted with their environment. This will be done through lectures, two videos, and the potential field trip. With this background, we will study archaic members of our genus, Homo. Armed with the tools provided by class discussions of living primates, we will turn to questions of migration and genetic relations among our closest extinct relatives. | Lecture + Q&A.
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Section Title
All in the Family: The Evolution of the Primates, Including Us
1:30PM to 3:00PM
Jan 27, 2022 to Mar 31, 2022
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Durham
Course Fees
Section Notes

UPDATED 1/7/2022 - THIS COURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Please note: Great books in physical anthropology are expensive, and the major expense is publishing figures. The figures in Larsen's text are without peer. They illuminate the data that support the theories, but the cost prevents the instructor from requiring the book. While there are reading "assignments" for only four of 10 classes, the text provides a concise second exposure to tricky issues, such as the visual hunting hypothesis and what could be call the "great ape mystery." Students will want to read beyond the material presented in class.

Required supplies/fee: If Duke University Lemur Center can accommodate our class, there is a tour fee of $10 paid by each student.

 Recommended reading: Clark Spencer Larsen, Our Origins (9780393680881)