Jonathan M. Perry,

Jonathan M. Perry
Contact Info:
Office Location: 
Office Phone:  +1 919 684 4250
Email Address:   send me a message
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Typical Courses Taught:

Office Hours:

By appointment

M.Sc.University of Alberta2001

Primate Paleontology & Morphology
Cognitive Evolution
Research Interests:

Current projects: Currently, I am working on several projects:,

, Dissection of prosimian chewing muscles to determine scaling patterns, fiber architecture, basic anatomy, and predictability of attachment areas

, Dissection of masticatory anatomy of large felids: examination of relative muscle size and predictability of muscle attachment areas (with A. Hartstone-Rose)

, Quantification of premolar root area in Homunculus, a Miocene monkey from Patagonia, with comments on masticatory loads (with R. F. Kay)

, Measurement of dental dimensions in Eocene adapine primates for the purpose of inferring diet

, Predicting body mass from common osteological estimators in a population of howling monkeys skeletons with a history of living body weight measurements (with A. Hartstone-Rose, N. L. Barrickman, and K. Glander)

, Scaling of ingested food items in captive strepsirrhines at the Duke University Primate Center (with A. Hartstone-Rose)

, Assessment of the sources of dental microwear in strepsirrhines (with R. Kay, J. Choi, C. Wall, and P. Ungar)

, Quantification of phytolith content in howling monkey and sifaka feces in different seasons and different habitats (with R. Kay, R. Madden, K. Glander, M. Clark, and D. Brockman)

I am interested in the dental and cranial features that signal diet and oral behavior in primates. These can be used to reconstruct certain aspects of diet and oral behavior in extinct primates. Currently I am focussing on a unique group of lemur-like primates from the Eocene epoch of Europe: the adapines. These primates exhibit many features that suggest they were eating very hard and/or very tough foods. They were perhaps the earliest primates to rely on food sources that were such great challenges to the masticatory system.

My background is in early Tertiary primate paleontology and I did a Master's project on food processing in plesiadapiforms and euprimates. I built a machine that simulates chewing. This machine was constructed based on parameters from modern prosimian primates. I used dentitions of different primate species in this machine and I had them break down different kinds of food. For each species and for each food, I then assessed masticatory performance, that is, how small are the particles resulting from a given number of chews.

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Perry JMG, Scaling of the chewing muscles in prosimians., in Primate Craniofacial Function and Biology, edited by CJ Vinyard, MJ Ravosa, and CE Wall (Submitted, Fall, 2006), Springer.
  2. Perry JMG, Breakdown of Food by Early Fossil Primates: Assessed with the Aid of a Machine that Simulates Mastication. (Granted May 28, 2001) (M.Sc. Thesis, University of Alberta. 217p..).
  3. Perry JMG, Wall CE, A study of the scaling patterns of physiological cross-sectional area of the chewing muscles in prosimians, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 40 (2005), pp. 165.
  4. Kay RF, Schmitt D, Vinyard CJ, Perry JMG, Shigehara N, Takai M and Naoko E, The paleobiology of Amphipithecidae, South Asian late Eocene primates, Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 46 (2004), pp. 3-25.
  5. Perry JMG, Wall CE, Theoretical expectations and empirical features of prosimiam chewing muscles, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, vol. 24 no. 2-suppl (2004), pp. 101A.
Selected Field Work

  1. Field Work, Feb 2003, 2004, 2006, Near Rio Gallegos, Argentina.  
  2. Field Work, Oct - Nov 2004, Fayum Basin, Egypt.  
  3. Field Work, May 2003, The altiplano of Bolivia.  
  4. Field Work, Jul - Aug 2003, Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.  
  5. Field Work, Jun - Sep 2002, East End, Saskatchewan.  
  6. Field Work, May - Sep 1999, Central and southern Alberta.  
  7. Field Work, May - Sep 1996, 1997, 1998, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.