Professor Karen Weinstein
Monkeys in the snow and cold: the evolution of body proportions in macaques
Summary: How do we understand the evolution of modern human body size and proportions and their worldwide geographic dispersal during the Pleistocene epoch? One way is by examining macaques, a genus of monkeys that has the greatest geographic range of all primates second to humans. Unlike most primates that live solely within the tropics, macaques inhabit diverse regions, including tropical rainforests, mountainous habitats, and northern climates with marked seasonal fluctuations in temperature and snowfall. This presentation discusses the evolution of body size and proportions in macaques as responses to this environmental diversity as well as the influences of variations in locomotion, phylogeny, and other ecological factors.