1. Primates

Success Criteria

Your learning has been successful if you can do the following:


Learn these so you can communicate this concept well.


Humans belong to the order ‘Primates’ along with prosimians, monkeys and apes. 

Video: Odyssey Earth “Primates - What is a Primate?” Run Time: 5:07 

Characteristics of Primates

General characteristics of order Primates

Mammals in the order Primate have the following characteristics:




Modes of Primate Locomotion

Most primates are adapted to an arboreal (tree-living) niche. But some have adapted to move on the ground.

Arboreal (tree-dwelling)


Adaptations for Tree Climbing

Primate Skull Features

Being able to identify and compare different parts of a primate skull can help to identify the type of primate and various aspects of its biology (e.g. diet).  

Knowing the names of major skull bones, as well as the features associated with a modern human skull will help you identify some of the evolutionary 'landmarks' in the development of humans. 

For each of the male gorilla and modern human skulls below, you will use the internet to label each feature.