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Social Sciences - Anthropology & Archaeology | Reconstructing Behavior in the Primate Fossil Record

Reconstructing Behavior in the Primate Fossil Record

Plavcan, J., Kay, R.F., Jungers, W., van Schaik, C.P. (Eds.)

2002, XIII, 437 p.

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This volume brings together a series of papers that address the topic of reconstructing behavior in the primate fossil record. The literature devoted to reconstructing behavior in extinct species is ovelWhelming and very diverse. Sometimes, it seems as though behavioral reconstruction is done as an afterthought in the discussion section of papers, relegated to the status of informed speculation. But recent years have seen an explosion in studies of adaptation, functional anatomy, comparative sociobiology, and development. Powerful new comparative methods are now available on the internet. At the same time, we face a rapidly growing fossil record that offers more and more information on the morphology and paleoenvironments of extinct species. Consequently, inferences of behavior in extinct species have become better grounded in comparative studies of living species and are becoming increas­ ingly rigorous. We offer here a series of papers that review broad issues related to reconstructing various aspects of behavior from very different types of evi­ dence. We hope that in so doing, the reader will gain a perspective on the various types of evidence that can be brought to bear on reconstructing behavior, the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches, and, perhaps, new approaches to the topic. We define behavior as broadly as we can­ including life-history traits, locomotion, diet, and social behavior, giving the authors considerable freedom in choosing what, exactly, they wish to explore.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Adaptation - ontogeny - paleoenvironmental - primate behavior - primates

Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology - Geology

Table of contents 

1. Preface; J.M. Plavcan, et al. 2. Adaptation and behavior in the primate fossil record; C.F. Ross, et al. 3. Functional morphology and in vivo bone strain patterns in the craniofacial region of primates: beware of biomechanical stories about fossil bones; W.L. Hylander, K.R. Johnson. 4. On the interface between ontogeny and function; M.J. Ravosa, C.J. Vinyard. 5. Dental ontogeny and life-history strategies: the case of the giant extinct indroids of Madagascar; L.R. Godfrey, et al. 6. A comparative approach to reconstructing the socioecology of extinct primates; C.L. Nunn, C.P. van Schaik. 7. The use of paleocommunity and taphonomic studies in reconstructing primate behavior; K.E. Reed. 8. Reconstructing diets of fossil primates; P. Ungar. 9. Reconstructing social behavior from dimorphism in the fossil record; J.M. Plavcan. 10. The adaptations of Branisella boliviana, the earliest South American monkey; R.F. Kay, et al. 11. Ecomorphology and behavior of giant extinct lemurs from Madagascar; W.L. Jungers, et al. 12. Conclusions: reconstructing behavior in the fossil record; J.M. Plavcan, et al.

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