Primate Evolution with Reference to Limbs YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Primate Evolution with Reference to Limbs


Primate Evolution with Reference to Limbs (Anthropology)

  • The earliest hominines appear to have evolved under ecological circumstances (that is, heavily wooded) similar to those typical for living and extinct apes.

  • Due to the advent of bipedalism which was a result of ecological adaptation as well as was a need for survival, major changes started to develop in limbs of early humans.

  • There were changes in locomotory organs, pelvic girdle, femur and the foot.

  • The contrast between man and apes as regards their limbs and girdles can be understood in relation to their respective modes of locomotion.

Locomotory Organs

  • In apes, limbs have been modified for brachiating whereas in man for erect posture.

  • Gorillas’ brachial index is 88 whereas man’s brachial index is 76.

  • In apes, thumb is reduced whereas in man, thumb is not reduced rather its mobility and opposability have been enhanced for efficient grasping.

Pelvic Girdle

  • The pelvic girdle of apes is also modified.

  • In man, ileum is broad and extends backwards while in apes it is elongated in crania-caudal direction.

  • The human pelvis is shorter in comparison to apes.

  • Pelvic girdle of primate and pelvic girdle of humans are shown in figures below.

Pelvic girdle

Pelvic Gridle

Femur and Foot

  • The femur ,especially in gorilla, is robust and its shaft shows antero-posterior curvature.

  • In man, the articular head of the femur is larger than the gorilla.


  1. which of the following is a feature of primates?

  2. More opposable thumb

  3. Large and broad pelvic girdle

  4. Comparatively big pelvis

  5. brachial index= 76

Answer- C


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#apes and humans

#anatomical differences


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