BIO A 370 A: Introduction To Primates

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
DEN 112

Syllabus Description:



This course will provide a comprehensive review of living nonhuman primate taxonomy, morphology, natural history and distribution. Throughout the course topics such as conservation, ethnoprimatology, disease transmission, field research, and the role that nonhuman primates play in different cultures around the world will be highlighted.

 Course Outcomes (or “what I expect you to walk out of this course with”)

1)   A working knowledge of course related aspects of  a). Primate Taxonomy  b). Core concepts in the distribution, morphology, social organization, behavior, and reproduction of primates

2)   The capacity to discuss and analyze major themes in current primatology as they relate to the species/genera reviewed in this course

3)   An understanding of why conservation, ethics, and the examination of the human context play important roles in any primatological study


Texts: There is one required text for this course:

Primate Adaptation & Evolution 3rd Ed. John G. Fleagle. Academic Press

(suggested) Primate Conservation Inc. All the Worlds Primates

Additional Materials: There will be additional readings posted on the Canvas website as pdf files during the course. I have also placed several books that cover primate diversity  on 4 hr reserve at Odegaard library. Numerous primate reference books are available to you in my office during office hours.


Daily primate taxonomy reports: There are more than 500 species of primates! During this course we will only be able to discuss a small percentage of these extraordinary animals. In order for you to get exposure to the primate diversity that is spread across Central and South America, Africa and Asia every Tuesday and Thursday you will need to come to class prepared to fill in a form that I will hand out and that asks for the:

Suborder; Infraorder; Family; Genus; Species; common name; habitat niche; locomotion type; distribution and 2 interesting facts about any primate of your choice.

Nearly 50% of your grade will be based on these reports. You may use prepared notes to fill out the reports. Do not give me the same species twice during the course. If you are going to miss class then you must notify me via email BEFORE class begins. In this case I will allow you to submit your taxonomy report to me via email by 5pm that day. I will not accept any late reports.



Video journal: The best way to understand and appreciate primates is to see them in their habitat. However, our viewing options are limited in Seattle. Fortunately there is a rich source of videos available. Each week will we see videos of primate distribution, behavior and ecology. You will be expected to summarize the weekly “long (>4 mins) video(s) as well as finding an online video (minimum of 4 mins) that the class has not seen which you will review and include the link in your weekly journal.  Your summary must include the genus and species name as well as the common name of the primate and indicate where the primate is naturally distributed. Your weekly video journal is due in class on Thursday.


Quizzes: Pop quizzes will be given throughout the course. These will be structured as short answer, fill in the blank, and true/false. No make-up quizzes will be given.

Midterm: Will be given in class during week 5 and will encompass all material covered to date.

Final: Will be comprehensive and given in class on the last day of the quarter.


Daily primate taxonomy reports: 10pts each                          200 pts total

Weekly video journals: 10pts each                                         100 pts total

Quizzes: 5pts each                                                               30   pts total

Midterm                                                                               50   pts total

Final                                                                                    100 pts total

Attached is a tentative course schedule. Topics may be added/eliminated and dates changed based upon class progress. Assignments are to be read BY THE LECTURE FOR WHICH THEY ARE SCHEDULED. I expect that you will do all the readings.Weekly readings 2017.png



Catalog Description: 
Origins, major evolutionary trends, and modern taxonomic relationships of the nonhuman primates. Their distribution and habitat in relation to behavioral and morphological adaptations and their status as endangered species. Prerequisite: BIO A 201.
GE Requirements: 
Natural World (NW)
Last updated: 
August 4, 2017 - 9:01pm