Snakes and Primate Vision
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19-03-2015, 06:14 PM
Snakes and Primate Vision
Quote:We May Have Snakes To Thank For Our Acute Vision

In a new paper published in the journal Primates, author William C. McGrew, a former professor of evolutionary primatology at the University of Cambridge, reports a high rate of venomous snake encounters by his team of primatologists seeking to observe unhabituated wild chimpanzees in Mount Assirik, Senegal, West Africa.

McGrew's snake-encounter analysis in the paper Snakes as hazards: modelling risk by chasing chimpanzees is one test of what's known as the snake-detection theory of primate origins, a set of hypotheses that suggest we (along with other primates) owe certain features of our evolution to the risks posed by death and injury from snakes.

This is based on Lynne A. Isbell's work laid out in her book The Fruit, the Tree, and the Serpent: Why We See So Well (2009). I have a PDF of the book if anyone is interested. I still need to read it.

By the way, McGrew worked at my university while I attended, but he left shortly before I switched my major over to anthropology.
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