February 27, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Ecolunch: Primates and Snakes, an 80 Million Year Dialogue? March 19

Dr. Harry Greene

Dr. Harry Greene

The Ecolunch Seminar Series presents Dr. Harry W. Greene on “Primates and Snakes, an 80 Million Year Dialogue?” on March 19 in Bentley 227.

Abstract: In this lecture I will describe evidence and uncertainties in an emerging theory that 1) As first constricting predators and, much later, venomous adversaries, snakes have significantly influenced the origin and subsequent radiation of primates, especially in terms of the neurobiology of vision and fear; 2) the origin of front-fanged venom injection radically changed the nature of snake encounters with their own predators, such that visually and acoustically oriented, cognitively sophisticated adversaries promoted the evolution of serpentine defensive displays and mimicry; 3) As visual, acoustic, cognitive, and weapon-wielding adversaries, primates have substantially affected snake evolution, including perhaps favoring origin of the only long-distance weaponry among all serpents. These long-term, bi-directional evolutionary relationships both challenge and potentially inspire efforts to appreciate and conserve snakes.

Other Ecolunch seminars are Wednesdays from 11:50 to 1:40 p.m. in Irvine 159. Students are in BIOS 7000 Seminars in Ecology and BIOS 3880 Undergraduate Research & Inquiry & Analysis in EEB.

Upcoming Events

Paul Converse on “The Molecular and Population Ecology of Diamondback Terrapins” on March 26.

Eric Gorscak on “Insights into Cretaceous Faunal Patterns of Africa: What East African Sauropod Dinosaurs and Novel Phylogenetic Approaches Can Tell Us” on April 2.

Don Cerio on “Defining Functional Fields-of-View in Dinosaurs and Their Relatives Based on Anatomy and a Novel 3D Analytical Technique” on April 9.

Jillian Davis on “Functional Masticatory Morphology in Carnivoran Dietary Specialists” on April 16.

Taylor Phillips on “Seasonal Movements of the Sandstone Falls Population of Lower New River Walleye” on April 23.

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