The Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum

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Malea Neese 5969-0906 February 25, 2015 Primate Evolution Midterm Short answer questions 1. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was a period of time around the Paleocene-Eocene boundary during which the Earth experienced a significant rise in temperature. As we discussed in class January 27-February 3, the PETM period conveniently coincides with primate evolution and dispersal worldwide. This period of thermal increase is important to primate evolution because this rise in temperature worldwide created an ideal, survivable environment for primates globally. This rise in temperature encouraged primates to expand their territories into areas not previously inhabitable, such as the Arctic Circle. Additionally, I believe that the PETM may have encouraged primates to evolve into broader adaptive radii in order to exploit more tropical food sources and landscapes. In general, it is acknowledged that the PETM allowed primates to become more pervasive worldwide. ch 12 2. A primate is a member of an extremely diverse group of animals. Primates are globally pervasive, excluding (most) colder areas (Macaca fuscata is an exception), and they exhibit a variety of morphological features that vary from being generalized and rather primitive, to being amazingly specialized. Euprimates, in my opinion based off of semantic meaning discussed in class and in Fleagle, are just early primates; therefore making a distinction between primate and Euprimate seems superfluous, unless there is
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