Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Studying mammals: The social climbers
Studying mammals: The social climbers

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Studying mammals: The social climbers


In this course we will focus on the Anthropoidea, a suborder of primates that includes monkeys, apes and humans. We will concentrate our attention here primarily on monkeys. Colour vision, a large brain and intelligence are of great importance in the lives of anthropoids, enabling them to eat foods inaccessible to many other animals and to exploit social situations. In this course, we will be looking at characteristics of primates that differ, or are enhanced, in anthropoids and discussing these attributes in relation to the evolution of the large anthropoid brain and the evolution of humans.

This is the ninth in a series of units about studying mammals. To get the most from these units, you will need access to a copy of The Life of Mammals (2002) by David Attenborough, BBC Books (ISBN 0563534230), and The Life of Mammals (2002) on DVD, which contains the associated series of ten BBC TV programmes. OpenLearn course S182_8 Studying mammals: life in the trees contains samples from the DVD set. You should begin each course by watching the relevant TV programme on the DVD and reading the corresponding chapter in The Life of Mammals. You will be asked to rewatch specific sequences from the programme as you work through the course.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in Environment & Development [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]