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The groups of modern primates




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At about the same time as the dinosaurs became extinct, about 65 million years ago, the primitive primates diverged quickly to give rise to two main suborders; the prosimians(meaning “before apes”) and anthropoids(meaning “ape fom”). The prosimians are represented today by lemurs, lorises, and tarsiers, and the anthropoids by monkeys, apes, and humans.

Monkeys are distinguished from apes in having long tails, and the forelimbs are not usually longer than the hindlimbs. They are believed to have evolved from two different groups of lemur-like animals which became isolated when continental drift separated Eurasia from North America. The North American group evolved into New World monkeys which died out in North America but somehow colonised South America. The Eurasia group gave rise to Old World monkeys, from which apes and humans evolved. There are several differences between Old World monkey and New World monkeys which show their separate evolution. For example, the nostrils of monkeys from South America are wide open and far apart, and New World monkeys have a long tail that is prehensile (adapted for grasping branches); the nostrils of monkeys from Africa and Asia are narrow and close together and no old World monkey has a prehensile tail.

■ Glossary of essential terms for you to know

English term Russian equivalent
to descend происходить
common общий
behaviour поведение
to be rooted in корнями уходит в…
adaptation адаптация, приспособление
ancestor предок
to find out выяснить, обнаружить
to retain сохранять
relationship взаимосвязь, родство
mammal млекопитающее животное
insectivores насекомоядное животное
shrew землеройка
arboreal древесный
mode способ
prominent заметный
finger палец руки
toe палец ноги
claw коготь
nail ноготь
flexible гибкий
to reduce уменьшать
well adapted хорошо приспособленный
insects насекомые
feature черта, особенность
prehensile (syn. grasping) хватательный
limb конечность
digit палец (руки или ноги)
branch ветка
grip схватывание
to flatten выравнивать
to support поддерживать
sensitive чувствительный
skin кожа
forearm предплечье
clavicle ключица
scapula лопатка
essential необходимый
to transfer перемещать
vision зрение
to leap прыгать
scent запах
guts кишки
omnivorous всеядный
skull череп
upright вертикальный
posture положение
vertebra позвонок
spinal cord спинной мозг
to reduce уменьшать
nest гнездо
to fend давать отпор
brain мозг
tactile senses чувства осязания
bond связь
forelimb передняя конечность
hindlimb задняя конечность
nostril ноздря
tail хвост

■ Your Essential Assignments



I. Quick check:

1. Primates evolved as a group adapted to an arboreal mode of life. Briefly explain the importance of the following adaptions:

a. reduced sense of smell

b. opposable thumb

c. small, single uterus

d. flexible pectoral girdle.

 

II. Fill in the missing words:

Term (verb) Noun Adjective
reflect ....... .......
adapt ....... .......
grasp ....... .......
depend ....... .......
support ....... .......
extinguish ....... .......
separate ……. ……

III. Use monolingual English dictionary and write down what could the words given below mean:

vision, limb, adaptation, modern, independence.

IV. Match these words with their definitions:

primate A. an animal that eats both meat plants
modern B. the smell of a particular animal or person that some other animals, for example dogs, can follow
insectivore C. able to move easily
mammal D. an animal is very like a human
omnivore E. the bones of person’s or animal’s head
brain F. a creature that eats insects for food
7. scent G. connected with trees or living in trees
8. mode H. time belonging to the present time
9. ape I. the organ inside your head that controls how you think, feel and move
mobile J. one of the class of animals that drinks milk from its mother’s body when it is young
digestion K. a member of the group of mammals that includes humans and monkeys
12. arboreal L. a large monkey without a tail, or with a very short tail
13. skull M. concerning human society and its organization, or the quality of people’s lives
14. social N. a particular way or style of behaving, living or doing something
15. anthropoid O. the process of digesting food

V. Find English equivalents to the following word combinations:

Russian term English equivalent
1. в некоторой степени  
2. физические и поведенческие характеристики  
3. хватать ветки деревьев  
4. нежная кожа на пальцах руки или ноги  
5. подвижное предплечье  
6. подносить предмет к глазам для внимательного изучения  
7. хорошо развитое зрение  
8. пищеварительная система  
9. смешанная диета  
10. большой и высоко развитый мозг  
11. передние и задние конечности  
12. несколько различий  
13. хватательный хвост  

 

VI. Give Russian equivalents to the following English terms:

English term Russian equivalent
descended with modifications from a common ancestor  
arboreal mode of life  
ancestral primates  
well adapted for eating insects  
a prehensile limb  
to allow a wide range of movements  
to transfer food to the mouth  
to locate scents  
upright posture  
spinal cord  
a prolonged period of dependency after birth  
precise movements  
social grouping  
complex social behaviour  

VII. Find synonyms among the pool of words:

Pool of words Synonyms
1)1.descend /2.grip /3.grasp /4.originate  
2)1.digit/2.bond/3.scent/4.finger/5.link/6.smell /7.toe  
3)1.feature /2. limb /3.characteristic /4. arm /5. leg  
4)1.primitive /2.independence /3. freedom /4. ancient  

VIII. Answer the following questions. Use all information given before:

1. What has freed us from many of the effects of natural selection?

2. What does “arboreal mode of life” mean?

3. What features did ancestral primates have?

4. What features have been retained by modern primates?

5. What are the two main groups of modern primates?

6. How are monkeys distinguished from apes?

 

IX. Match the sentence halves. Make complete sentences:




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