• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Biological Anthropology, Zoology, Evolution and Ecology, Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

The course begins with surveying general principles of evolution, biodiversity and systematics, species theory, phylogeny reconstruction and biogeography, and progresses to a consideration of how these apply in turn to lemurs, lorises and galagos, tarsiers, New and Old World monkeys, and apes. Students will be expected to be able to recognise and characterise all the main groups of primates. In this course, we will also examine dietary, locomotor and sensory adaptations in primates and will cover aspects of the primate fossil record.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills 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. 3Construct 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

Essay proposal, 500 words (10%) [Learning Outcome 3-5]
Major essay, 2500 words (50%) [Learning Outcome 3-5]
Take-home test, 48 hours (25%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 5]
Tutorial presentation, 15 min, students will present alone, or in groups, depending on number of student enrollments (10%) [Learning Outcomes 2-5]
Tutorial participation (5%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials and online activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

6 units of ARCH, ANTH, BIAN, or BIOL. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course. Incompatible with BIAN2012 or BIAN6513.

Prescribed Texts

Fleagle, J. G. (2013). Primate Adaptation and Evolution: 3rd Edition. Academic Press.

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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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