Anthropology | The Evolution of Primate Social Behavior
B368 | 10987 | Hunt

We have two principal aims in B368.  (1) We will become familiar with
the variety of primate social organizations.  Primate societies will
be parsed into 5 basic systems, after which variations on these themes
will be explored.  You will learn that nonhuman primates vary from
solitary, positively antisocial species, to animals that gather in
groups of up to 300. (2) We aim to understand the theoretical
underpinnings of primate social behavior.  We will investigate the
evolutionary and ecological bases of sociality, intense affiliation
within groups (bonding), group transfer, territoriality, aggression,
primate intelligence, communication, tool use, mating strategies, and
parenting strategies. Along the way we'll become familiar with the
physical appearance of a number of the 200 species of primates.  We'll
learn a bit about primate conservation.  At the end of the class we'll
think just briefly about what primates tell us about ourselves.

There are 11 pages of reading per meeting.  Readings will include
popular and scientific articles.  The class will view 5 films.  There
will be three exams.