• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Biological Anthropology

The course begins with surveying general principles of evolution, biodiversity and systematics, species theory, phylogeny reconstruction and biogeography, and quickly progresses to a consideration of how these apply in turn to lemurs, lorises and galagos, tarsiers, New and Old World monkeys, and apes, because the meaning and relevance of theory are best appreciated in context. Students will be expected to be able to recognise and characterise all the main groups of primates to a limited extent, and a few groups in depth, and to use this as the basis for an understanding of the current conservation crisis.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify the major groups of living primates, and all the species in at least one of the groups.
  2. Apply the rules of nomenclature in a way that organises their knowledge of primates.
  3. Construct phylogenetic hypotheses from different sources of evidence.
  4. Evaluate published claims about Primate taxonomy and biogeography.
  5. Understand and assess the various meanings given to the concept of species.

Indicative Assessment

1. A major essay, 2500-3500 words (50%) [Learning Outcomes 3-5]

Major essay - to be submitted at the end of the course, constructing a phylogenetic hypothesis or evaluating published claims about taxonomy (including species concept) and/or biogeography in a chosen group.

2. Two short class tests (10% each) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 5]

One test in the last tutorial before the break, and one test in the last tutorial of semester, testing students’ ability to identify Primate groups, identify different published hypotheses of Primate taxonomy and evolution, and apply the rules of nomenclature. The first test will be on material in the first part of the course; the second test will be on material covering the entire course. Each test will be for 10% of the total.

3. A presentation in class (30%) [Learning Outcomes 2-5]

Using PowerPoint and, where appropriate, the skeletal material available in the laboratory, this presentation will cover all the principles introduced in the course, and each student will choose a favourite topic on which to expound. Ability to interest the rest of the class and stimulate discussion is important. Top marks will be given to students able to evaluate published claims as well as put forward their own well-argued hypotheses.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two hours of lectures plus one hour of tutorials per student per week. Students will be expected to spend twice this amount of time in study, revision, and preparation.

My door is always open for assistance and advice.

Requisite and Incompatibility

6 units of (ARCH, ANTH, BIAN, BIOL). Incompatible BIAN 2012

Preliminary Reading

Groves, C. Primate Taxonomy, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1230
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3132
2006 $3132
2005 $3132
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3293 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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